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Officials: Montana hemp growing in popularity among farmers

BILLINGS (AP) — Officials say hemp is growing in popularity as a crop among farmers in Montana. 

The Billings Gazette reports that statistics released by the Montana Department of Agriculture indicate there are 277 farmers now licensed by the state to grow hemp.

Agriculture department Director Ben Thomas estimates there are between 70 and 78 square miles on which hemp is being grown.

Officials say Montana was growing hemp before the 2018 federal farm bill loosened regulations and interest has grown since then.

Officials say about 65 farmers attended a recent meeting of hemp growers, although only one had turned a profit so far.

Farmers say they are interested in selling hemp and extracting oil from plants to sell in the growing market for CBD products.

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