FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Hemp farming has not panned out in Indiana as many thought it would.
In 2019 when the farm bill was passed promises of economic benefits and diversity were aplenty. Hemp was billed as a way to get into three markets (fiber, grain, and CBD).
However, according to the Annual Hemp Regulatory and Research Report put out by the Indiana State Chemist and Seed Commissioner (IOSC) in 2020, farmers haven’t been feeling the promised prosperity.
Only 35% of the hemp grown in Indiana last year according to the IOSC report was sold. That left 34% unsold, and 31% destroyed.
The hemp that was not sold because per the report those with a license to grow it “seem to have an aversion to both production and marketing contracts.” And without those contracts it’s harder to take to market. Beyond that 34% of respondents didn’t even have a processor leaving them without a way to use their hemp.
As for the destroyed hemp, some of this is due to high THC rates. Anything above .3% THC is illegal and has to be destroyed, usually burned.
Chris Moorman, a former hemp farmer in Hartford City said the former issue is much more detrimental to the industry, stating “people lose money on hemp because they grow it without an end market in mind, that’s the biggest risk with hemp.”
Moorman’s other big concern about the hemp industry is the advent of Delta-8.
Delta-8 is a cannabinoid extracted from hemp plants that Moorman says isn’t regulated enough.
Moorman states he’s a huge opponent of Delta-8, he says “If we’re going to have legal cannabis in the state we should do it in the right way.”