Hemp

Hemp research fields on the University of Kentucky's C. Oran Little Research Center farm in Woodford County, Kentucky.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Samples of Alabama's hemp crop are in line with state law, so far.

State inspectors have taken samples from hemp growers producing their first crops of the plant.

Alabama Agricultural Commissioner Rick Pate said that so far, samples from 45 licensed growers have all tested below the 0.3 percent THC level. That's the level required by state law.

The news comes as a relief for some growers, who had expressed concern that their entire hemp crop could be destroyed if some of their plants tested above the legal limit, Al.com reported.

Alabama growers are farming hemp for CBD oil, or cannabidiol, which is used for medicinal purposes and is now widely legal.

Across the state, dozens of licensed farmers this spring planted Alabama's first legal hemp crop since 1937.

David Johnson, owner of Bama Green in Cherokee County, said he's growing 1,000 hemp plants. About half of them are in pots in a greenhouse, with the others planted in the ground outdoors.

"We're in the greenhouse business," Johnson said. "We've been doing poinsettias since 1983. I have no experience on this. We're kind of experimenting."

Johnson said his hemp has done well, and he's used many of his techniques for growing flowers.

About five producers, mostly in south Alabama, have already harvested hemp, Pate said. Now it will be sent to a processor to be turned into CBD oil. Some of the farmers plan to use Alabama processors while others are sending their hemp out-of-state for processing, he said.

In Madison County, trespassers went into a hemp field, mistaking the plants for marijuana, and tampering with them.

"They're going in thinking it's something it's not," Pate said.

Pate has repeatedly emphasized that anyone trying to smoke hemp will just get sick, and not get high.

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