Hemp is giving a Kentucky farmer a new lease on life
In 2014 the Kentucky Department of Agriculture started a hemp pilot program. As of this year, there are more than 200 approved growers. Laura Freeman owns Mount Folly Farm and is one of them.
"When my daughter called me up and said she wanted to be in the hemp business I thought she wanted to grow bamboo or something," Freeman said.
There isn't as much information on growing hemp, unlike other crops. Freeman started growing in 2016 and said she had to be willing to lose time and money before it was successful.
Freeman said hemp changed her life. She was in a horse riding accident several years ago and was in serious condition. The CBD oil she harvests from the plants helps with lasting injuries.
"I wanted everybody else to be able to see this because there's so much miss information about hemp and what it does and what it doesn't do," Freeman said.
What it doesn't do is get you high. Freeman uses the CBD oil in balms and lotions as an anti-inflammatory. She said it can soothe muscle pain, arthritis and a variety of other issues.
CBD oil isn't the only by-product of hemp. The plant also produces hemp seeds that you can eat and fiber that can be used to make cloth or rope.
"It gives the farmers a new crop. We planted this whole field with old tobacco equipment, and it's a new lease on life for all the money that's gone out of tobacco." Freeman said.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is currently accepting applications to join the pilot program.