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Memorial Florists and Greenhouses Plan to Grow 250,000 Hemp Cuttings by Mid-2019

APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) - While recreational marijuana is illegal in Wisconsin, production of the related plant hemp has recently become legal here. Memorial Florists and Greenhouses in Appleton is one of the first businesses to grow hemp in the state, which they've been doing since early November, with the goal of producing 250,000 hemp cuttings by the end of June 2019, which will then be distributed to local farmers for them to plant and harvest.

Bob Aykens, the company's president and owner, says they've been leasing one of their greenhouses to Colorado-based business Front Range BioSciences.  Workers from that company will supervise the hemp growth.

"We've got about 40,000 square feet of greenhouse here, so we decided to lease 15,000 of it roughly," he says. "I think it's gonna help the farming community, and obviously our state is a huge agriculture industry, so there's a lot of struggles in that industry right now, so I believe this another way to help that industry continue to grow."

Aykens says some are confused as to the relationship between hemp and marijuana. While both are cannabis plants that look identical, hemp's THC count is too low to intoxicate users, and hemp is often used for industrial purposes. He says the hemp plants in his greenhouse will be used to make CBD oil.

"CBD oil's been found to help people with anxiety, depression, Parkinson's Disease," he says. "I think they're testing it toward some cancers also."

Aykens expects the greenhouse to be full with hemp implants by March 2019.

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