Jay Kata's first hemp crop went up in smoke.
The plants grown by him and his farming partners in southeast Iowa were mowed down, windrowed — then set ablaze.
What remained was tilled under after the field became "too hot": The level of THC — tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive compound in cannabis plants like hemp — exceeded state and federal limits.
"It was pretty heartbreaking," said Kata, who was among nearly 90 Iowans this year who set out to produce the state's first government-authorized crop of hemp, a close relative of marijuana.
Iowa farmers planted hemp on about 680 acres this year, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture. Growers are hoping to cash in on a burgeoning market for hemp-derived cannabidiols, or CBDs. The non-psychoactive compound is being added to everything from sparking water and chocolates to body creams and dog treats with the promise that it can relieve a host of maladies.
Read the full article on the Des Moines Register website.
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