I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I am not a person with the right skill set to grow anything into anything. If you give me apple seeds and come back in a year, you’ll see a hole in the ground with a bunch of apple seeds in it, with me crying next to that hole where nothing grows.
Thankfully, because of smart people with an aptitude for turning dirt into money, Maine has a substantial farming community. I’ve talked at great length with a friend of mine, who owns a farm in the Belfast area, about why he hasn’t attempted to grow industrial hemp on his property?
It’s not like it’s weed, but as it stands now, hemp is classified as a controlled substance alongside cannabis. I’m not sure the last time any of you tried smoking rope, but…..
Also, the timing is too perfect, as Senate Majority Mitch McConnell is looking to get rid of a bunch of the red tape prohibiting the domestic farming of industrial hemp.
McConnell said in an article from the Bangor Daily News that, “The goal of this new bill, should it become law, is to simply remove the roadblocks altogether,” McConnell said. “It would encourage innovation and development and support to domestic production of hemp.”
In this day and age, there are virtually a million and one uses for it. Everything from oldy-timey rope, to cutting edge medicinal uses like manufacturing CBD extracts for the medicinal cannabis market.
And then almost like magic, according to a post from the Portland Press Herald , a new industrial hemp facility announced its new home in Belfast. Future Farm Maine LLC, a subsidiary of Canadian based Future Farm Technologies, has taken over some space 248 Northport Ave, which was formerly occupied by Coastal Farms Food Processing, and more recently by frozen blueberry processors Midcoast Frozen.
It’s not completely clear when they will actually begin work in the new facility, but this could be great for a state like Maine where existing farmers could diversify and expand, and also give new farmers a solid crop that is easy to care for and maintain.
So let’s hope the government can get its act together nationally, while we continue to push forward locally. Strengthening Maine’s economy is good for all of us!