Local hemp industry expected to grow
IMPERIAL, Calif. –
The Imperial Valley Fairgrounds was the site of the first hemp expo in Imperial County.
Local leaders talked about ongoing efforts to develop the hemp industry in the valley.
One of the key reasons why so many are interested in is the money.
The hemp business journal reported the U.S. hemp industry made $1billion dollars in sales last year, and with more farmers looking to join the industry, that number is projected to grow.
Local hemp farmers are starting to find success in the industry.
About eight farmers in Imperial County are currently growing hemp in fields across the valley.
They are all farmers who have partnered with Imperial Valley College (IVC). to grow hemp for research purposes only.
Registered hemp growers in California are required to be partnered with an educational institution in order to grow hemp.
IVC says they are open to partnering with additional growers as long as they abide by state regulations.
“That you are committed to creating an opportunity for students who are interested in this industry and interested in helping you collect the data,” said Martha Garcia, IVC superintendent.
“We have an agronomic research agreement with them, which is basically looking into all the inputs, methodologies and practices to grow industrial hemp here in the Imperial Valley,” said Mark Samuels, Primordia Co-funder.
Primordia says they have about ten college interns helping them at their hemp fields in Brawley.
They planted their first crop in January.
They say it’s been a successful year, full of learning experiences.
“We know that hemp will grow in this valley, we would like to see the manufacturing and the industrial development around it,” said Ryan Kelley, Imperial County Supervisor.
Kelley believes the hemp industry can bring industrial and economic growth to the Imperial Valley, but he says there are still obstacles the industry is facing regarding hemp regulations in the state.