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YARDLEY, PA, March 31, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ -- JustBen Agriculture today announced that it has received approval for its research proposal to grow hemp under the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program. JustBen Agriculture is an early-stage hemp-production farm focused on research into hemp as food and fiber.
To date, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has approved 16 proposals which aim to demonstrate the value and viability of hemp cultivation in Pennsylvania. JustBen will grow five acres, which is the maximum acreage allowed by the program.
"We're excited by the prospect of growing hemp in Mifflin County. And especially thrilled to be contributing our skills for the betterment of Pennsylvania families. In the short term, our focus will be researching hemp as food and fiber. Ultimately, we envision a fully operationalized farm planting, growing, cultivating and harvesting industrial hemp for food and fiber for Pennsylvania--and continuing to research hemp's uses," said JustBen founder Dr. Justin Frederico.
"We look forward to seeing a return to the robust hemp farming lost with passage of the Marijuana Tax Act in 1973, which made production of industrial hemp illegal. Today, the United States is the leading importer of hemp seed. A return to hemp farming in the Pennsylvania could serve as a 'shot in the arm' for Pennsylvania farmers and enable state businesses to potentially save on imported hemp seed and fiber--the U.S. spends roughly $86 million on importation of hemp seed and fiber from, predominantly, China and Canada. A return to legal farming of industrial hemp seems an idea whose time has come," said JustBen VP Ben Hall, Jr.
The Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program, which was signed into law by Governor Wolf in July 2016, is authorized by section 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill) and Pennsylvania's Industrial Hemp Research Act (Act 92), which was enacted in December 2016. The act allows for farmers to work with individuals and higher education to conduct research to grow, cultivate and/or market industrial hemp. The approved program proposals are for projects in 15 counties across the state: Armstrong, Bedford, Berks, Bucks, Centre, Dauphin, Franklin, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Perry, Schuylkill and Westmoreland. Final permit approval is anticipated during the second quarter.
About JustBen Agriculture
JustBen Agriculture is an early-stage hemp farm focused on researching hemp as food and fiber. JustBen anticipates planting, growing, cultivating and harvesting industrial hemp seed, food and fiber. JustBen melds the skills of Justin Frederico, PhD, an organic chemist with extensive industrial experience, and lifelong friend farmer Ben Hall, Jr. Additional information about JustBen may be found at JustBen Agriculture.
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