DES MOINES – The new farm bill legalized hemp, but it’s still considered illegal to grow it in Iowa.
So, Iowa farmers looking down the road to see if farming it makes sense.
On Friday, a panel of experts gathered to discuss the industry’s current trends and outlook in Iowa.
They warned about how tough it can be to grow and how there needs to be a market before they go through the trouble. But they agree it’s a great opportunity for something our nation does well.
“Americans innovate, we’re innovators and entrepreneurs and we can get there if we have good policies in place,” said Michael Bowman of the National Hemp Association.
“I started off slow and then I really slowed down because we’re building something new—this is a whole new industry and it’s not to be taken lightly,” said Monte Robertson of the San Luis Valley Hemp Company.
The state of Iowa used to grow hemp for rope during war time. Panel members agreed one of the keys to getting the industry up and running in the state will be to put a well-defined set of laws on the books.