Sunday, March 27, 2016

Local farmers backing out of Hemp Farming


(WBIR) COCKE COUNTY - Editor's note: The number of hemp farmers who have applied to grow hemp during the 2016 season stands at half of 2015's total number as of Monday afternoon.

The first Industrial Hemp crop planted in Tennessee in over 70 years was not a success for the majority of farmers. Now, many of those farmers will not plant the seeds again.

"We were planning to expand a lot this year, if everything would've went well, I would not have cared at all to plant 300 or 400 acres," said Chuck Mason with Happy Holler Hemp Farms in Parrottsville, TN.

That expansion is not happening. In fact, the Mason family decided to skip out on hemp farming all together. "I'm just not willing to take that chance this year," said Mason.

In 2015, approximately 50 farmers in Tennessee grew the highly regulated seed. So far in 2016, with only two weeks left to apply for a growing permit, half of that number have applied.

"It scared a lot of people off. More than a lot I would say, " said Mason.

The last day to apply to grow Industrial Hemp during the 2016 season is April 1. Click here for more information.

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