In theory, Jim Riddle is as ready as any New Hampshire farmer to try his hand at cannabis if the state makes it legal. Riddle grew perennial fruit on a farm in Minnesota for 40 years. He moved to Hillsborough to get closer to his daughter, who is raising a family on her own farm. After a pivot, Riddle now grows hemp in an indoor greenhouse operation. And as a board member of the New Hampshire Cannabis Association, he’s a supporter of the effort to legalize cannabis in the state and create a marijuana industry.
But even for an advocate like Riddle, jumping into a new crop like marijuana is not as easy as setting aside the land and planting. He would need to research which strains are most feasible to grow, the best matched to the state’s demands, and the most lucrative.
There are new skills to be learned, too: how to harvest, dry, cure, and package the cannabis plants, and how to integrate it into a diverse business. “You want to do your homework and put product out there that’s going to be well received in the marketplace,” he said. “And I’m nowhere near ready for that.”
Riddle isn’t alone: While Granite State farmers are aware of the latest push to legalize cannabis in New Hampshire, few are putting their hats in the ring just yet, according to Robert Johnson, policy director for the New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation.
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