Hemp farms might be an option for Youngstown
There are over 2000 vacant properties in the city of Youngstown.
"Youngstown has a lot of property, a lot of vacant lands particularly on the east side, and with hemp being decriminalized across the country it would be a great place to start hemp farming," said Youngstown 1st Ward Councilman Julius T. Oliver.
Oliver shared the idea on his Facebook page Tuesday evening and said he's already been contacted by parties interested from across Ohio and out of state.
"This is somewhere you can come, get land cheap, start an industry," adds Oliver.
According to State Bill 57, hemp is decriminalized in the state of Ohio, making it a legal crop for Ohio farmers to cultivate and process.
Although, according to the state, the licenses are not yet available along with the rules and regulations regarding cultivation and processing.
Fourth Ward Councilman Mike Ray is open to the idea but needs to hear more from the state.
"We have to see what size farm makes sense, does it require acres to have a profitable situation, what are the industrial uses, and where could we go with that," said Ray.
21 News spoke with Council President DeMain Kitchen. He told us he was opposed to the idea for a number of reasons.
He said he didn't want Youngstown to have the image of Hemp Town USA. He was also unsure of how the hemp farms would be maintained or what the possible profits would be.
According to the state of Ohio, they are hoping to work out licensing for farms by spring of 2020.
Councilman Oliver plans on discussing the issue at the city's next economic development meeting.