20% of Indiana’s hemp crop was destroyed last year because it had too much THC

Fifth-generation farmer Mark Davidson spent his entire life in chronic pain — until he tried CBD oil, and it changed his life.

Davidson jumped on board when Indiana legalized growing hemp for CBD, a non-psychoactive chemical in the cannabis plant that is used for relieving pain, anxiety and other health issues, hoping to help others who were suffering.

But then his best-laid plans went up in smoke. Literally.

In 2019, Davidson was forced to burn 1.5 acres of his hemp crop.

“We had to burn more than $100,000 worth of product, which was heartbreaking and disheartening,” he said. “It was like seeing all this medicine going up in smoke.”

Davidson’s hemp crop had tested “hot,” meaning it contained more than the legal amount of THC, the chemical in cannabis that gets people high. Per rules from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, if the cannabis plant has 0.3% THC or less, it’s considered hemp and legal in the state of Indiana. Any higher, it’s illegal.

Almost 20% of the state’s hemp crop was destroyed last year for THC levels between 0.41% and 13%, according to Don Robison, seed administrator with the Office of Indiana State Chemist. 


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