The Delaware Farm Bureau and First State farmers formed an advisory committee to help the First State as it builds hemp growing locally.
Delaware became the second East Coast state approved to administer a domestic hemp program last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The 2018 Farm Bill took industrial hemp off the controlled substances list, creating what Farm Bureau President Richard Wilkins calls promising alternative crop for farmers.
“The creation of the few experimental permits – growers – that we had in 2019, I think that there’s probably more questions now than there are answers,” said Wilkins. “So, at Delaware Farm Bureau, we saw that there should be an advantage to creating an advisory council; bring the stakeholders together and let them dialog.”
Hemp is used to produce clothing textiles, industrial textiles, paper, building materials and products to support other agricultural industries.
John Foltz owns a poultry farm west of Dover.
He says he’s already growing hemp through a state research program run by Delaware State University.
“In that process, my intent was not to really to jump into production but just to see if I could raise the CBD oil-type plants indoor – hydroponically – and keep the plants alive,” saod Foltz.
Foltz supports developing the hemp industry locally and suggests finding ways to help connect growers across state lines with limited red tape.
Wilkins says the first meeting of the 12-member hemp production advisory committee is this Friday at 1 p.m.