Agriculture

Georgia Weighs Another Hemp Bill As New Industry Begins

In this Aug. 21, 2019, photo, Dave Crabill, an industrial hemp farmer, checks plants at his farm in Michigan. In Georgia, 66 farmers have gotten permission from the state Department of Agriculture to grow hemp, with another 101 pending, and processors, who will make the hemp into CBD oil, have gotten permits in Georgia, too, according to state Rep. John Corbett.
In this Aug. 21, 2019, photo, Dave Crabill, an industrial hemp farmer, checks plants at his farm in Michigan. In Georgia, 66 farmers have gotten permission from the state Department of Agriculture to grow hemp, with another 101 pending, and processors, who will make the hemp into CBD oil, have gotten permits in Georgia, too, according to state Rep. John Corbett.
Credit Paul Sancya / Associated Press file
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This summer, Georgia farmers are legally planting hemp for the first time in decades after the federal and state governments moved to allow hemp production again.

Soon, Georgia-grown CBD oil could be coming to store shelves.

Sixty-six farmers in Georgia have gotten permission from the state Department of Agriculture to grow hemp, with another 101 pending, and processors, who will make the hemp into CBD oil, have gotten permits in Georgia, too, according to state Rep. John Corbett, who has pushed to allow hemp growing here.

A bill he introduced that passed last year opened the door. Another piece of legislation he’s sponsoring this year further refines how the industry works in Georgia.

That bill got some pushback from Democratic state senators in a committee meeting Tuesday over the cost for farmers to get permits.

During public testimony, hemp grower Reginald Reese from Metter, Georgia, agreed.

“It is a viable crop for farmers to get into and make some profit,” he said. “The problem is the cost involved. How do we offset that? how do we support this new industry and support these farmers?”

The bill did advance out of committee, and Corbett says once the state has more information, costs could come down.

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