MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — In 2021, the value of hemp production in the open and under protection for the United States was $824 million, according to the USDA.

In North Dakota, anyone wanting to grow industrial hemp has a few things to do before they can grow the plant.

“The state regulates who can grow it,” said Eric Eriksmoen, a research agronomist for the NDSU North Central Research Extension Center. “You have to have a license. You have to go through the background checks and become a licensed grower. But anybody can do that, you can be a backyard grower or somebody that maybe just has a couple hundred feet of garden.”

At the NDSU North Central Research Extension Center, CBD hemp is being grown in the greenhouse.

“Basically making clones from a single plant, and these plants will then be planted into, these clones will then be planted into the fields in about six weeks,” said Eriksmoen.

Eriksmoen says CBD hemp is a high-value crop.

“We can produce maybe $100 worth of product with one single plant,” said Eriksmoen. “And it’s a plant that is well adapted to this growing area.”

But he says growing the plant isn’t always smooth sailing.

“If it produces an illegal amount of THC, then it has to be destroyed and all of your efforts then are wasted,” said Eriksmoen.

However, part of the research being done at the extension center is finding out when is the right time to harvest.

“How do you know when to harvest this essentially? So that you have the maximum amount of CBD, and the least amount of THC,” said Eriksmoen. “And there is a balance in here and we’re trying to understand that and to know what the correct time is for harvest.”

Eriksmoen says in order to test the THC and CBD levels, the North Central Extension Center has to send a sample of the crop to a lab to be tested.