LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A leader in Kentucky’s hemp industry is making plans to open a hemp growers’ service center near Cynthiana this year.
Brian Furnish, an eighth-generation tobacco farmer turned hemp grower, said he believes hemp as a farm commodity is ready for a storage facility similar to those used in the livestock, tobacco and grain industries.
“Right now, hemp producers are kind of stuck if they don’t have a buyer ready to take delivery when their hemp is harvested and dried," Furnish said in a press release. "But if they can ship to a convenient facility where buyers are also engaged, it benefits everyone.”
The Kentucky Hemp Service Center would test farmers’ hemp for characteristics that certain buyers are looking for.
As the craze around cannabidiol, or CBD, grows hemp that contains high levels of CBD will be purchased by those distributors.
In addition, special testing would help determine the levels of pesticides in hemp and detect other foreign objects pulled from the soil.
Furnish said the center may become more than warehouses so that farmers are equipped with the equipment they need.
Some farmers in Kentucky believe hemp will replace burley tobacco as a major revenue-generating commodity for the state’s agricultural producers.
“‘Hempin’ ain’t easy’ is what I always say,” Furnish said. “We hope to make it a little easier on the farmer with the new receiving station.”
Since hemp was released from the list of federally-controlled substances in last year’s federal farm bill, sales have skyrocketed.