Industrial hemp to be grown in JDC

Published 10:25 am Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Jefferson Davis County will soon be growing industrial hemp.

According Jefferson Davis County Economic Development Director Gary Russell Bass, this could lead to opportunities for the county’s economy.

“Industrial hemp is going to change the face of Jefferson Davis County,” said Bass.

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Last year, Mississippi passed a new law that allows hemp to be grown legally.

Jefferson Davis County plans to take full advantage of this new economic opportunity.

“We had a meeting a couple of weeks ago with the Mississippi Industrial Hemp Association, since the laws have changed and now, they can distinguish between hemp and marijuana. To be clear, hemp is not marijuana.”

“We can now focus on that as a crop,” Bass said.

“In the next 10 years, this county and many others in this state and many states are going to change. You’re going to see a huge drastic change in the economy because Hemp can be very lucrative.”

Bass said there are many uses for industrial hemp.

“You can make clothes out of hemp, you can make rope out of hemp,” Bass said. “There are medicinal properties, CBD oil and things like that, that are common in the market right now.”

He also says farmers in the area have already started the process.

“There are people that already have their licenses and are getting ready to start the growing process,” Bass said.

Bass says there are a few figures, but no specific numbers on the economic effect.

He also says the county will work with the Mississippi Industrial Hemp Association to jump start the hemp production.

Melanie Sorenson with the Mississippi Industrial Hemp Association met with the Jefferson Davis County Board of Supervisors recently to explain the process and answer questions.

“It is quite an interesting plant,” said Sorenson.

“The number of things it can produce is amazing. Everything from the tip top down the the roots is usable.”

Anything that can be made from wood, and anything made from fiberglass can be made from hemp.

“We have the opportunity to go out to the farmers and test their crop to make sure it does not test high for THC,” said Sorenson.

“Then they will be comfortable with the fact that what they are growing is a legal commodity.”

“We are going back to the future basically.”

We are going back and picking up  a commodity that has not been around for 80 years then all of a sudden it is back again, and legal.”

Items made from hemp are good for the environment, and last for years.

“It is going to be a commodity that is going to change the world.”