WEST LAFAYETTE — A new, old industry. That’s how the U.S. Department of Agriculture characterizes hemp, a versatile crop grown around the world for thousands of years, including in the U.S., before being effectively outlawed in the 1970s because hemp and marijuana are from the same plant.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp again. But while the crop is now a viable alternative with a potentially global market, there isn’t exactly an abundance of research-backed information and training available about producing, processing and selling it. The new online Hemp Essentials course from Purdue University addresses that, going beyond just production, although that topic certainly is covered.