Judging by the high turnout for the area’s first hemp conference, Franklin County farmers are exploring the pros and cons of a centuries-old crop with new market appeal: hemp.
About 80 people gathered April 2 at The Franklin Center in Rocky Mount for the conference, which was organized by the Virginia Cooperative Extension Offices of Patrick and Franklin counties. Topics included legal regulations and registration, grower experiences and production.
Until this past December, hemp could be grown in Virginia only for research purposes. Virginia Tech, James Madison University, University of Virginia and Virginia State University have all maintained research plots; along with a handful of private growers who had the proper licensing.