US (IN): Hemp growers test new strains for local climate, ready for legalization

Inside a nondescript warehouse east of Indianapolis, vertical shelving holds hundreds of cannabis plants with different genetic strains. A conspicuous, pungent smell hangs in the warm, humid air as special grow lights hover inches from the tops of the lush green plants.

However, this unique Hoosier farming operation is not what you may suspect โ€” at least not yet.

Half Moon Hemp, established in 2018, raises Cannabis sativa plants to supply Indiana's burgeoning new hemp industry. But founder Adam Gilliatte said he is poised to transition to more lucrative medicinal or adult-use cannabis should lawmakers catch up to other states that legalized what remains an illegal drug in Indiana.

Half Moon Hemp has dabbled in the retail side of the hemp business, but Gilliatte said he still prefers to work with farmers. His goal is to develop strains tailored to Indiana's climate โ€” hardy plants that produce the most flowers and contain a maximum of 0.03% THC โ€” and then clone them to supply starts" for hemp farmers.

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