Marijuana Offers Agricultural Possibilities

The gradual legalization of marijuana across parts of the United States is offering some farmers new opportunities to take advantage of what could become a thriving industry.
The cultivation and use of marijuana has had a rocky history in the United States. Over the past several years, several states have moved to relax restrictions on the use of marijuana. Currently eighteen states plus the District of Columbia have legalized the production and use of marijuana for medical purposes. Two states, Colorado and Washington, have recently legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.
Despite these state laws, the federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, claiming that it has no accepted medical use and that it has a high potential for abuse. Other Schedule I drugs include heroin and LSD.
Despite the continued federal ban, some farmers see marijuana production as a potentially lucrative option. In Colorado, for example, some estimates have placed Marijuana value at around $2,000 a pound. Some pot producers are already seeking capital for startups.
While many farm organizations have urged caution (the incongruity between state and federal laws would put many farmers in a legal grey area), eventual legalization could prove quite profitable for farmers looking to diversify their crops.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer