Interest in hemp production growing in North Dakota

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Farmers in North Dakota are lining up to plant hemp for CBD production, state officials said.

CBD is derived from the hemp plant and is said to have healing properties. The CBD market in North Dakota is now booming after the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp nationwide. Dietary supplements and personal care products containing CBD are seemingly everywhere — grocery stores, health food stores and even gas stations.

“If people want this, we’ll grow it,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said.

North Dakota now has 64 licensed hemp growers, Goehring noted. That figure is double the number of growers in 2017, the first year hemp growing was permitted in the state.

Last week, the state Department of Agriculture held its first informational meeting for current and prospective hemp farmers looking to produce CBD. The meeting, called “CBD 101,” drew about 70 attendees.

Henry Dockter, who owns a small family farm in Zeeland, attended the meeting.

“With agriculture products not being stable, this was kind of my getaway,” said Dockter, adding he’s been farming alfalfa, corn and soybeans since 1988.

Dockter noted that he first learned of CDB to treat health issues. Since then, he’s been researching which types of hemp seeds can help different ailments.

The licensing fee was changed from $25 an acre to a flat fee of no more than $350 based on the number of acres, effectively lowering the fee. Goehring said a drop in the fee could encourage more farmers to apply,

Before there were CBD processors in North Dakota, farmers had to transport hemp over state lines, which was illegal. Now, as many as four companies in North Dakota plan to process hemp for CBD this year.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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