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Industrial Hemp Knowledge and Interest among North Carolina Organic Farmers in the United States

Beatrice Dingha (), Leah Sandler (), Arnab Bhowmik (), Clement Akotsen-Mensah (), Louis Jackai (), Kevin Gibson () and Ronald Turco ()
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Beatrice Dingha: Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC 27411, USA
Leah Sandler: Department of Agriculture, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
Arnab Bhowmik: Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC 27411, USA
Clement Akotsen-Mensah: Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station 121 Northville Rd. Bridgeton, NJ 08302, USA
Louis Jackai: Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC 27411, USA
Kevin Gibson: Department of Agriculture, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
Ronald Turco: Department of Agriculture, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 9, 1-17

Abstract: Industrial hemp ( Cannabis sativa ), has been proposed as a new crop that might be of interest to organic farmers in the North Carolina and other states in the United States. However, little is known about how organic farmers view this crop. We conducted a survey among North Carolina certified organic growers to ascertain their knowledge of, and willingness to adopt, industrial hemp. Contact information was obtained from a database of certified organic farmers in North Carolina and the growers were contacted by email and directed to complete an online questionnaire. Growers were asked a wide range of questions about farm characteristics, technology adoption, interest toward industrial hemp, and policy issues regarding hemp adoption. A total of 245 farmers were contacted; 64 started the survey and 35 responded to all questions. Our results indicate that 85% of North Carolina organic growers are interested in growing hemp on their farms and the majority wanted to learn more about the crop production practices, adapted cultivars, and legality of growing it. Seventy-five percent expressed interest in being certified growers while 52% wanted to grow industrial hemp primarily for cannabidiol (CBD) oil. Most (65%) respondents indicate they aspired to be among the first farmers in their area to grow and sell hemp. Growers who have tried new crops or new farming technology in the last three years were more likely to adopt industrial hemp production. These findings will help decision-makers understand the critical concerns of growers who are willing to adopt industrial hemp as an alternative income-generating enterprise.

Keywords: Cannabis sativa; cannabidiol; CBD oil; hemp adoption; industrial hemp; North Carolina; organic farmers (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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