11,000 plants representing four different cultivars and spanning five acres. That’s the size and scope of one of the licensed hemp farms in Marion County, Indiana.
The farm is situated on the southeast side of the county. Owner John Copeland’s farm has been there since 1851 and now has eight generations that have farmed the land. They wanted to diversify and found hemp to be as diverse as it gets. Through word of mouth, they learned they needed to contact the Indiana State Chemist, and then connected with a hemp producer and filed the proper paperwork to qualify for Purdue’s pilot program for the year.
Right now, they are growing “Sweet”, “Cherry Wine”, “Uno” and “The Wife”, all strains geared towards CBD production, and they will be selling the finished products back to their clone supplier for processing.
Things are going well, according to John.
“We haven’t had any issues at all. We’re located here where a lot of traffic goes by, and you can tell people notice,” Copeland said. “The State Police have done a couple flyovers just to check the location of our fields but we’ve never heard from anybody, we’ve not had an on-site visit.” No teenagers have approached his fields thinking they might be able to catch a buzz either, a concern commonly cited by legislators during conversations and debates surrounding agricultural hemp.
For now, Copeland isn’t sure whether or not they will expand. There’s not a lot of mechanization to it so they’ll hold at five acres for a while, but are not ruling out expansion, depending on how the market goes.
“We’re able to provide much more quality product and manage it a lot easier than if we had more acres out,” he said explaining why they are limiting their acreage for the time being.