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Roane County Welcome First Legal Hemp Farm Despite Rumors

SPENCER, WV (WOWK) - It has been a little over a year since House Bill 2453 passed through the House, which allows West Virginians to apply and then grow their own hemp. The trend is quickly moving throughout the state and has now entered Roane County for the first time.

Steve Short has been a supporter of cannabis since 1982, when he joined Boy Scouts.

"That was the year I joined Boy Scouts, so there you go, initiation into Boy Scouts, smoke this joint and take this shot, I'm in guys! I never missed a camping trip," said Short.

Since beginning his one acre hemp operation, Short has found it to be an annoyance to run errands because people approach him thinking he is the ultimate "hookup" for marijuana, which he explained is not the case at all.

"The biggest thing I want to say about the rumors is that I want everyone to know we are not breaking the law in anyway. Any person in the county or state can do this. It's only a one-hundred dollar application fee and five dollars per acre for the permit. There you go, you start October 1st, get in on it," said Short.

Because of the rumors afloat, Short took to a local Roane County Facebook group, welcoming anyone intrigued or concerned to pay a visit to his hemp farm in Clover, WV.

Those who are interested in the hemp industry itself turned up to see what Short has been working on since May of this year.

Interested in the hemp industry himself and also suffering from PTSD, Andrew Carpenter said, "in a way it's kind of a dream come true. They took it away because of all the lies and all this propaganda and stuff that we've had for years and now every bodies finally starting to realize the truth and it's just really great to just be able to come out here and just being able to look at it, seeing it grow."

To many people's surprise, hemp can be used for many things.

"You can make fuel out of it, you can make toilet paper out of it, you can make clothing out of it, they make 'hempcrete' which is cheaper and stronger than concrete. There's more purposes for it than I can even think of off the top of my head," said Short.

Short plans to cut his crop in about two weeks to begin production of CBD hemp oil (cannabidiol), which is used to relieve chronic pain.

Short explained that he was once an opioid abuser, oxycontin predominantly and found it hard to leave the house or find the motivation to do anything in life. He got clean and now advocates for CBD hemp oil for those suffering with pain rather than prescribed pills that are highly addictive and a big contributor to the opioid epidemic striking the state.

Short is excited to plant again for next year, and is currently expanding his land to grow a bigger and better crop for 2019.


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