Nebraska's Hemp Infrastructure Remains Unknown

June 11, 2019 - 2:10pm

Nebraska doesn’t have the infrastructure to support hemp production according to one University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor.


Tom Clemente, a professor of biotechnology, studies hemp’s industrial uses. Clemente said he doesn’t know where a farmer would get hemp fiber processed in Nebraska.

“For me, who is just a mere scientist," Clemente said, "I don’t see how we maximize potential of this new commodity they want to bring back that was grown in the 50s. I don’t know how you’re gonna do it. I just don’t see it. Maybe I’m missing something, but I just don’t see it.”

BastCore, an Omaha-based company who processed hemp, was the only processing location in Nebraska, but it recently moved to Alabama. BastCore’s founder John Lupien stayed in the Omaha area and hopes to have another business open by the fall of 2019.

Governor Pete Ricketts signed the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act on May 30, but hemp farmers are still waiting on the Nebraska Department of Agriculture for permit applications. The Department of Agriculture has not yet announced a date when the program will be up and running.

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