Michigan is launching a pilot program to aid farmers and processors interested in growing industrial hemp during the 2019 planting season.
The U.S. government is implementing a national program to start in 2020. But the state already has the authority to grow industrial hemp for research purposes.
Participating farmers and processors will have to obtain a license and enter into a research agreement with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The agency said Thursday it will schedule several events where people can apply for and obtain a research agreement.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says Michigan is a "natural fit" to grow, process and manufacture industrial hemp. She says the emerging crop not only is a new opportunity for farmers but also is an opportunity for new businesses to form.