INDIANA: More than 50 years after America started eradicating it, hemp might be coming to a field near you.
An Indiana Senate committee has given its approval, which has thrilled advocates of the new crop.
What remains to be seen is whether Indiana farmers will be willing to plant the crop.
Supporters make hemp, which is the cousin of marijuana but contains little of the psychoactive chemical in marijuana, sound like a wonder crop. It can be used to produce products as varied as hemp seed, hemp oil, cloth and energy-producing biomass, about 25,000 different products in all.
But farmers say they don’t know anything about the crop or whether there’s really a market for it.
The bill has a long way to go before it becomes law, and Indiana would have to get special permission from the federal government to let farmers grow the plant.
But supporters, one who told a Senate committee that when she sees hemp she sees money, are convinced the crop has the potential to become a major moneymaker for farmers.