Farm Bill could create cash crop for Alabama: industrialized hemp

Hemp is used in a variety of products like paper, rope and even car parts.

Posted: Dec 12, 2018 5:37 PM
Updated: Dec 12, 2018 10:48 PM

On Wednesday, the farm bill was passed by the House of Representative and sent over to President Trump's desk. 

The bill contains an item that could create a new cash crop in Alabama, hemp. The owner of a textile studio in Huntsville's Lowe Mill, Roo Kline, said hemp is valuable and could change the industry. 

Kline has been working with textiles for a decade and said hemp is a great product to work with that she will be carrying in the future.

"It's very strong. As it wears overtime, it becomes very soft," Kline said.

Hemp is used in a variety of products like paper, rope and even car parts. Until now, cultivating it for industry was illegal.

"When people hear hemp, they hear cannabis. They hear marijuana. What they're not understanding is hemp is actually a different plant," Kline said.

Hemp contains only trace amounts of the chemical in marijuana that makes people high. In 2016, Alabama legalized the study of industrial hemp. Auburn researchers found Alabama's climate is ideal for cultivating it, which could mean a potential boom for the agricultural industry.

Kline said when used in fabric, hemp can be compared to cotton or linen.

"It's a beautiful fiber to work with," Kline said.

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