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Minnesota Hemp Producers Look Toward Fiber, Grain

As number of licensed farmers grow, they branch out from CBD oil into new markets

Hemp seeds

Six growers helped launch Minnesota’s hemp industry in 2016, through a pilot program that prioritized study alongside cultivation, reports MPR News.

Since then, that program is no longer experimental and that number has grown exponentially — to 343 licensed growers by 2019.

But hemp production has hit a plateau in Minnesota. Many farmers still have last year's crop in storage because markets were saturated and prices crashed. And after a bumpy few years of changing regulations and falling prices, the industry is now looking to branch out from its early products — primarily focused on CBD oil — to new markets, in fiber and grain.

This week, as the state’s hemp growers, processors and regulators gather for their annual conference — held virtually this year, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic — they will grapple with how best to grow and expand the nascent industry, from one focused on oils and tinctures to one that also includes products being billed as earth-friendly alternatives to plastic, polyester and other man-made materials.

Read the full report here.

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