Moab farmer going to pot
Hemp in Moab?
“I’ve been beating weeds down for years so I figured I might as well let them grow.”
Will Fryer, owner of Castle Creek Winery in Moab, isn’t just talking about morning glories or goat head thorns. He is talking about weed with a capital W, otherwise known as hemp.
Once a staple used in the manufacture of sailing ship rigging and hanging nooses, hemp raising, as recently as a few years ago, was treated as a criminal enterprise.
But Fryer is part of a new dawn for American farmers.
He has registered to grow 10 acres of hemp with the Utah Department of Agriculture. He estimates that each plant will produce 80 pounds of fiber and each acre can hold 1,000 plants. That’s a lot of hemp.
But the market is also expanding in many different directions. People are familiar with hemp clothes and paper. But the chemical properties of cannabis compounds in hemp particularly fascinate Fryer.
“The uses of CBD has helped reinvigorate my passion for experimenting. I see myself as a tabletop chemist.”
So far he is developing creams, tinctures, soft gels, and a pet formula. “Among other benefits, they provide a healthy alternative to pain management,” he said.
Kentucky is leading the nation in hemp production and many tobacco curing sheds are now being used to dry cannabis plants.
Colorado is not far behind. Fryer credits Colorado Hemp Solutions with being a key resource in starting his project.
At some point, Fryer believes Utah will have its own thriving hemp farms and industries.
“Right now I know we are the talk of the town and we want to come off on the right foot. We want to create a model for Utah to use hemp products.”
More news from Moab can be found HERE.