My Champlain Valley reports….
Local 22 & Local 44 first reported in September that hemp farming in Vermont had grown significantly. Now, some farmers think the hemp farming industry could face big changes if its close cousin marijuana is legalized.
Coming up in January, a report commissioned by Governor Phil Scott is expected to come out with recommendations of how recreational marijuana should be regulated in the state. With talk of the report, some say the hemp conversation is changing– like Joel Bedard, the CEO of the Vermont Hemp Co.
“We’re really diverting away from the hemp conversation of grain and fiber and the cannabinoids that can be extracted from industrial hemp,” Bedard said.
Hemp and marijuana are two different plants. Bedard explained that hemp has a lower THC level than marijuana. It’s used for things like clothing and building materials. He compared it to rope and said if you try and smoke it… the only thing you will get is a headache.
Bedard has a seat at the table as conversation shifts to THC levels and how the plants will be handled by the state.
“There are schools of thought that wants to bring it all together and legalize all cannabis for whatever reasons and then there are others that want to keep hemp and recreational [marijuana] apart,” he said.