Tennessee hemp industury suffers growing pains

Nov 1, 2019

Credit tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- State lawmaker and hemp grower Jay Reedy says this fall’s Tennessee hemp harvest is in trouble.

Reedy says he’s hearing from growers who can’t find a processor to buy their crop.

Rep. Reedy says the problem is that banks have been slow to issue construction loans for new processing plants. Because hemp is in the same plant family with marijuana, bankers fear running afoul of federal regulations.

“Because hemp was a schedule plant, you know a schedule one drug with the THC found in it and mariguana, and really bound the hands of the banking institutions.”

Reedy says a lot of growers jumped into hemp production without doing their homework.

He notes more than 3700 licenses to grow hemp were issued by the state in the spring. That’s up from less than 300 licenses last year.