In a field behind his house, Bill Hendley of Marion inspects the hemp plants growing in the hot sun. When they are ready for harvesting, he will take them inside his house and begin the process of making CBD oil.
When the plants are brought inside, Hendley first has to place them in a sun room where they can dry out. After they are dried sufficiently, he grinds them up and starts working to extract the oil.
It is another step in this careful and laborious process for McDowell County’s first certified hemp farmer. Hendley said he’s been a beekeeper and produced honey for at least 25 years, off and on. He and his bees still produce honey but lately, he’s focused on combining the cannabidiol (CBD) from his hemp plants with the honey from his bees. The honey also masks the bitter taste of the oil.