Montana hemp farmer wins fight to use federally controlled water
Photo: Aleks / CC BY-SA 3.0
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - After a year of battling federal regulations, a Montana hemp farmer has a contract to use federally controlled water for irrigation.
The Independent Record reports Kim Phillips received the contract Wednesday, just days before she needed to plant her crop.
The state Department of Agriculture authorized her crop last year under Montana's Industrial Hemp Pilot Program, which was created under the 2014 Farm Bill.
However, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation prohibited her from using federally controlled water from Canyon Ferry Reservoir. The federal government classifies hemp as a controlled substance because it is closely related to marijuana.
Steve Davies, area manager for the Bureau of Reclamation, said Wednesday the bureau decided Phillips' crop meets an exemption in the Farm Bill that allows hemp to be grown under an agricultural pilot program or for research.