CLAYTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Dave Crabill and two business partners started small for their first foray into farming hemp, growing two strains of the now-legal cousin of marijuana on an acre along a dirt road outside the industrial city of Flint.
The endeavor wasn’t easy. Flooding from record rain stunted some plants. Crabill and others had to carefully walk the field and uproot 1,000 undesirable males, a third of the plants, to protect more valuable females. Some plants were stolen. And it’s still not clear whether they will make money from the effort, which Crabill likened to „planting $20 bills and hoping to harvest $50.”
„That’s why we did the 1 acre,” said Crabill, who runs a small marketing company and is among more than 500 people who registered this year as hemp growers in Michigan, many hoping to capitalize on the growing demand for the extract CBD. „Something manageable. We can make mistakes and it won’t kill us. … We’re all going to be smarter next year.”