Industrial hemp industry gaining ground in Pennsylvania

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The industrial hemp industry is gaining traction in Pennsylvania, now that colleges and universities are permitted to grow the crop for research purposes. 

Governor Tom Wolf recently passed legislation allowing institutions of higher learning to do so. 

Universities such as Penn State plan to work alongside the Department of Agriculture to determine regulations before farmers can grow industrial hemp. 

The crop has low levels of THC and could open up many opportunities for the state’s farmers. 

“More and more people are looking at a fairly ancient crop and we’re going to have to use it more effectively to find a better handle on where the right fits are in society for its use,” Rick Roush, the dean for Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences said. 

Industrial hemp is often used for products such as food, fibers, and personal care. 

Federal regulations prevent the crop from legally being distributed and grown. 

Roush said the university will likely move forward with growing the crop on university farm land once regulations are created. 

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