House vote removes restrictions on area farmers growing hemp

(Record file photo) Ted Dobson, Equinox Farm in Sheffield, in April.

Farmers hoping to cultivate hemp on agricultural land have passed another hurdle in the Commonwealth.

Although the cultivation of the crop was legalized in Massachusetts in 2016 – and legalized federally last year – there were still laws in place that prohibited farmers from growing hemp with deed restrictions on their land as set forth under the Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR).

The APR is a voluntary program created by the state Department of Agricultural Resources as a way to offer a non-development alternative to farmers, that have agricultural land that’s deemed “prime,” who are faced with a decision regarding the future use of their farms.

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