PORTLAND, OR — Oregon farmers could plant the state’s first industrial hemp crop this spring, a full year before businesses expect to start growing marijuana for recreational use, a state official said on Tuesday.
Farmers can grow the hemp in exchange for a $1,500 licensing fee and testing to confirm their crop does not possess enough intoxicating chemicals to get people high, said Agriculture Department manager Ron Pence.
But would-be growers of industrial hemp face a host of complications, including cannabis being illegal at the federal level even as prosecutors have cautiously allowed state experiments to go forward. So far, no one has applied for a license, Pence added.
“It’s not clear if there’s an adequate seed supply,” Pence said, noting that federal regulations made…