Hemp farmers struggle to get insurance for their crops

Sen. Gillibrand calls on USDA to expand flooding coverage to hemp farmers

Eaton, NY (WSYR-TV) - After a summer of record breaking flooding, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is calling on U.S. Department of Agriculture to to expand insurance coverage to include hemp farmers.

At JD Farms, co-owner Dan Dolgin says he's definitely seen a difference between this year's crop and last year's due to the rain.

Dolgin says he's nervous should the flooding persist, but it's the public perception of hemp, and its relation to pot, he says that's the issue.

"Hemp has no THC. THC is the psychotropic compound found in cannabis that gets you high. Hemp has less than .3% THC, so you could smoke a field of hemp and all you would get is a headache," said Dolgin.

But the federal government still considers hemp a narcotic, making it not fully legal to cultivate and therefore illegal to transport the seeds across state borders.

"Hemp as a good or as a commodity, because it's processed is legal to sell in the United States, it's just the cultivation that is at the heart of the issue," said Dolgin.

So until the hemp plant is considered just a plant, should the persistent rain continue, hemp farmers will be out of luck. 

Starting this weekend you will be able to buy some of JD Farms' products at Whole Foods. Their greens are already used in many restaurants in New York City.

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