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Some believe Farm Bill amendment on hemp could have local impact - KOAM TV 7

Some believe Farm Bill amendment on hemp could have local impact

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The recently signed Farm Bill includes an amendment to legalize hemp production for research purposes, allowing the growth of industrialized hemp per state approval.

Hemp proponents believe the Farm Bill opens doors to getting state approval for cultivation.

Some local business owners say being able to incorporate industrialized hemp into their work would be beneficial.

"As the government releases more control of hemp related materials, then we will actually be able to start growing it and making it a product that brings us money instead of sending money to other countries to get those products," said William Crane, owner of Crane Home Energy Consulting in Joplin.

Crane explains there are several uses of industrial hemp that would benefit his business.

"It can be incorporated into walls, it can be the main structure in a wall and very durable, not easily damaged by moisture and it's also a very natural product," he said. "It helps reduce allergens and things like that in a house."

Crane says hemp-based hay would also benefit horse owners.

"It would help for the stables just about any time of year," Crane said.

Because of the freezing temperatures, some horse owners say they are more willing to consider alternative types of hay this time of year.

"If we did try hemp hay, it would depend on the cost of the hay and the protein value and different things like that," farm owner Johnie Clem said.

Clem says his horse stalls are cleaned every day, but for other stables that might not change out hay as frequently, some problems can arise.

"If you're not taking good care of your stall, there is a possibility of those horses getting thrush in the bottom of their feet."

Some believe a type of hemp-based hay known as HURD could solve that problem.

"It does not swell as it gets wet and as horses and other animals are passing over the HURD, it won't swell and stick up into their hooves, so it is a lot less maintenance for them," Crane said.

Crane also says there are many other areas where hemp could be further researched.

"It may also be possible for it to extract contaminants," Crane said. "Joplin is dealing with high zinc levels in the water, so it may be something that would directly impact the Joplin area to be able to do a research project on."

Now that the farm bill has been approved at the federal level, the next step is for state lawmakers to review the hemp provision.

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