Earlier this week, a house agriculture subcommittee signed off on legislation that created the Iowa Hemp Act, which legalizes the production of Hemp in the state of Iowa. Robin Pruisner, an entomologist, believes there is a good chance the legislation will pass this year.
“I think that I’m seeing a lot of positive movement on both the House and the Senate side, so I’m optimistic that something is likely to pass this year,” said Pruisner.
As the Iowa Hemp Act moves forward through the legislative process, a local organization called the NuHemp Group is holding seminars to help educate farmers on what could be ahead. David Hall, the founder of NuHemp Group, said this seminar will help farmers to prepare.
“We see a lot of opportunities in the fact you can move crops up to Canada, and over to China. The biomass is being used a lot to produce CBD oils and different textiles. There’s a huge opportunity here and we want to help Iowa farmers get off on the right foot,” said Hall.
During the seminar, farmers were educated on how hemp crops can be used for things like paper, fibers, even animal food. Mark Richardson, an Iowa farmer, said he believes more farmers will participate in events like this if the legislation goes forward.
“What I’ve learned so far is the coming thing. When they get all the legislation passed and the laws finalized, I think you’ll see a lot more interests,” said Richardson.
Prusiner believes this legislation could possibly give aid to struggling farmers.
“I think that road crop producers here in Iowa have been struggling for the past few years which is the economics of corn and soybeans. So, being able to bring in a legitimate third crop in that arena I think would be a savior for some people on the economic side ride now,” said Pruisner.
Iowa is one of nine states that does not have hemp legislation on the books.