Hemp industry needs safety net

The president of the Minnesota Industrial Hemp Association says developing a safety net is critical to the long-term viability of hemp.

Dave Ladd tells Brownfield he formed the association earlier this year because while there’s a lot of opportunity growing hemp, there are also many challenges.

“You have to recreate a lot of things (like) a base, yield histories, production histories, and those sorts of things.”

He says the association has reached out to community banks as potential ag lenders.

“Because they’re state-chartered, and as long as we stay on that side of the ledger (we’ll be fine). But what can say USDA programs do for example? Loan guarantee programs?”

Ladd says at the local, state, and federal level, officials are looking to serve the needs of an emerging industrial hemp sector while staying compliant with the law.

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