COLORADO: Marijuana’s square cousin, industrial hemp, has come out of the black market and is now legal for farmers to cultivate, opening up a lucrative new market. That was the idea, anyway.
Would-be hemp farmers are having mixed success navigating red tape on everything from seed acquisition to processing the finished plant. It will take years, farmers and regulators agree, before there’s a viable market for hemp.
Hemp is prized for oils, seeds and fiber, but its production was prohibited for five decades because the plant can be manipulated to enhance a psychoactive chemical, THC, making the drug marijuana.