Michigan Launches Pilot Program to Grow Hemp

Hemp could be Michigan’s next cash crop.

A new Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development pilot program will allow farmers to apply to plant hemp crops in their fields during the 2019 growing season.

It will be allowed to be grown in a field without special fencing, just like any other crop.

“Michigan is uniquely positioned to grow, process and manufacture industrial hemp. We are one of the nation’s most agriculturally diverse states – growing 300 different commodities on a commercial basis – making it a natural fit,” said Whitmer in a press release. “This emerging crop not only cultivates new opportunity for our farming community, but it also creates an avenue for new businesses to crop up across the state.”

Northern Michigan hemp growers say this will allow hemp to get back to its rightful place. Outdoors.

Michael Thue owns Great Lakes Hemp Supplements and applied for the program. He said growing the plant indoors wastes energy and electricity and natural sunlight cultivates a richer product.

Thue says hemp is so profitable because it’s so versatile.

“The same plant can be used three or four different [ways],” said Thue.

The seeds, stalk, leaf and innards of the hemp plants can all be utilized.

It’s useful in a variety of materials, including clothing.

“Anything made with plastic or oil can be replaced with hemp,” said Thue. “Patagonia and Levi’s have come out with hemp clothing lines again.”

Thue has an appointment with the state next week.

Like so many other farmers, he’s hoping hemp could turn into a real cash crop.

“I’m counting on it,” said Thue. “It’s getting its rightful place back in the medicine cabinet, versus it being outlawed.”