JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. -- The farms of the future could have a new look in 2019.
With a vote on the 2018 Farm Bill looming, all eyes are on the industrial hemp industry.
If the bill passes, it would now become legal for farmers to grow and sell the crop.
Hemp can be used to produce everything from bags and clothing to medicine and vitamins.
Right now, you must be linked to some sort of research facility.
"We've heard from a lot of multi-national corporations of how they really want to expand into New York state with infrastructure, planting equipment, lots of jobs, because hemp is a fairly labor-intensive crop to grow," said Castetter Sustainability Group Director of Operations Jim Castetter.
As it stands, hemp is on the federal government's list of controlled substances. Many say this is due to what they're calling an unfair link between the crop and marijuana.
In marijuana, there is roughly five to 27 percent THC. Hemp on the other hand, is regulated to contain 0.3 percent.
"Considering that a lot of the marijuana that's on the market right now, legal, illegal, is 20, 25, 27 percent so that’s a lot of THC compared to the negligible amount that's in hemp itself," said Castetter.
Another important part of the bill for hemp farmers is crop insurance, which at this point they're not eligible for.
"It'll just really bring some of the farmers into at least trying to go some hemp. With a failure, you really can’t take that kind of loss without having some sort of insurance," said Castetter.
A vote on the 2018 Farm Bill could come as soon as next week.
Several CBD oil stores have begun to pop up around our region as a vote looms.