Grow, Gift, Repair

Legislature extends a lifeline to Massachusetts hemp farmers

After two dismal seasons that saw the market for their crop sharply curtailed by conflicting regulations, Massachusetts hemp farmers and their supporters are cheering a new state budget amendment that would extend a lifeline to the promising agricultural sector.

The provision would allow hemp farmers to sell their plants to legal marijuana dispensaries. It was introduced by Republican state Senator Ryan Fattman of Webster and is headed to Governor Charlie Baker’s desk after a successful vote in the Legislature Friday.

Proponents hope it will create a lucrative new market for hemp farmers, who have been hamstrung by state rules banning them from the most profitable segment of the industry: edible products containing cannabidiol, or CBD, a popular cannabis-derived compound that doesn’t get users high and may have health benefits.