A look at hemp’s potential impact on Wyoming

Hemp on a farm in Laramie County, Wyo. on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020.
Hemp on a farm in Laramie County, Wyo. on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020.(Max Cotton)
Published: Sep. 7, 2020 at 6:52 PM CDT
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GOSHEN COUNTY, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Wyoming farmers will soon harvest their hemp for the first time.

This is the first year they’ve been allowed to grow it after the state finalized regulations for the crop.

People in the industry believe this crop can be an economic game-changer for the state.

They cite its numerous uses as the reason why it has so much potential.

“Hemp is primarily composed of two main pieces, the fiber and the inner woody core, called the herd, and essentially anything you can do from petrochemicals, timber or cotton can be done more effectively and more sustainably and better for the environment with industrial hemp,” Hemp Ventures Founder and CEO Ryan Doherty said.

Wyoming Hemp Association President Justin Loeffler said there are very few companies that don’t want hemp in their products.

“Whether that’s clothing, whether that’s plastic, whether that’s building materials, textiles. There’s just a magnitude of uses for this crop,” he said.

Loeffler adds he believes this is the state’s shot at economic diversification because the hemp industry brings in a lot more than agriculture jobs.

“Why not grow it, process it, build it and sell it all right here in our state? Generate our jobs,” he said. “You’re looking at something that can bring these small towns back.”

“Hemp being grown here in Wyoming means that more businesses will come to Wyoming to use this hemp to make more products from it and so it creates a very regionalized economy,” Doherty said.

Wyoming legalized hemp in 2019 after the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill legalized it federally. State officials had to then create and finalize regulations before farmers could grow it in Wyoming.

Copyright 2020 Wyoming News Now. All rights reserved.

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