The Nebraska Hemp Association would like Gov. Pete Ricketts to look into the development of industrial hemp as a cash crop for Nebraska farmers.
President Bill Alchord says a law was passed in 2014 to legalize the development of a pilot program at postsecondary institutions and the Department of Agriculture for research, but that will likely focus on genetics. Alchord says the law does not allow for private studies that would focus on the development or industrial use.
Alchord says, “There are 2,500 uses for industrial hemp. Bio-diesel, fiber, plastics. Henry Ford made a car. Rudolph Diesel made gas. It would be a good crop in Nebraska for farmers to make some money.”
There are some that argue that by allowing industrial hemp production in Nebraska is the start of legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use. Alchord says those that believe that need to do more homework. He says, “Cannabis is the same plant but it is like corn is a grass. It grows very differently. It is a different plant and by law it has less than 3/10’s of a percent of THC. That is hemp.”
Alchord is says more than half of all states allows some form of industrial hemp production and we need to be on-board. He be believes when the law passed that Gov. Ricketts depended on the Department of Agriculture to do a good job with the program and association’s opinion is they didn’t. Alchord is hoping the governor will look into the possibilities of industrial hemp and take action.