Washington does brisk business in hemp licenses

Interest in growing hemp doesn’t appear to be waning in Washington, according to the state Department of Agriculture.

Since the beginning of the year, the department has issued 67 licenses to grow hemp. Last year in late May, the department had licensed 35 hemp farmers. The department hasn’t seen anything yet to suggest the state will see a drop in the roughly 6,000 acres planted last year, a spokesman said.

Industrial Hemp Association of Washington director Bonny Jo Peterson said some growers, stung last year by poor sales, are reducing acres or not planting at all. But new growers are coming on board, though their plants might not sell, she said.

“This year I’m not very optimistic about people actually being able to get their crop to market,” she said.


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