BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -A recently signed farm bill means a new cash crop for Alabama—Industrial Hemp. Gary Houser has not one, but three greenhouses with seedling trays full of the hemp.
“Trying to build something that’s Alabama branded instead of out-of-state people coming in and selling, so we can keep some money in the state,” says Houser.
Alabama recently made it legal to sell CBD oil, and it has a medical cannabis bill that just passed the Senate. With so much potential action, Houser is getting ready.
“This is our industrial hemp field. It’s approximately seven acres,” says Houser.
Seven acres that’s plowed and ready for plants. Houser hopes to grow an all organic product and hire local people to help. He also wants to dispel some common misconceptions.
“It’s not really pot, it’s industrial hemp, so it’s a little different. First of all, you can’t get high with it. It’s got such a low THC level that you really can’t get high on it.”
He says it’ll be intended for CBD oil and to help relieve the nation’s growing dependence on opioids.
"Most people take it for anxiety, pain relief and sleep disorders.”
He hopes that more studies will soon be done to learn its full potential. And instead of selling it, Houser plans to control the process all the way to the bottle.
“Kind of generate some funds, put some people to work and keep something here in Alabama so our money don’t run away,” says Houser.
Houser is also hoping that if the medical cannabis bill passes, he will be among the first given a permit to grow for that as well.