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Roughly Speaking podcast: Is hemp the next big thing in farming? (episode 240)

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Are Maryland farmers and Baltimore entrepreneurs missing a big economic opportunity by not growing and processing hemp for the commercial market? A report commissioned by the Abell Foundation concludes that hemp-marijuana confusion, along with a federal prohibition, form obstacles to a new branch of environmentally-friendly agriculture that could augment the income of Maryland farmers and spawn new businesses. Kentucky has already moved forward with growing hemp, despite the federal ban against the fibrous cannabis. Rona Kobell, reporter for the Chesapeake Bay Journal, joins Dan to talk about hemp’s potential. She wrote the Abell report. "Hemp offers opportunities for new products, good jobs, wellness, an improved environment and healthier soils," the report says. "It can help farmers diversify and keep their land in agriculture. It can jump start entrepreneurs who want to build businesses that process and transport hemp. And it can keep more Baltimore college graduates in the city to pursue careers in botanicals, textiles, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing."



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