Hemp remains a federally controlled substance, but about 35 states, including Nevada, have pilot programs that allow farmers like [Jim] McCoy to grow, research and sell hemp, a variety of cannabis. Last year, more than 20 growers planted 429 acres as part of the state’s program, which is administered by the Nevada Department of Agriculture, and demand is expected to keep growing.

“It’s taken off like a weed,” said Tick Segerblom, who as a state senator, sponsored the bills that were the framework for Nevada’s hemp program. “There’s an incredible amount of interest in it.”

RELATED: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to Introduce Bill Legalizing Industrial Hemp

Although hemp is related to marijuana, it contains a very low concentration of THC, the chemical responsible for marijuana’s high. Hemp can be used in commercial product as long as the product contains less than 0.3 percent THC. Farmers say their hemp crop could be used in paper, rope and textile production. So far though, the largest market in many states is for human consumption.

That’s because out of hemp comes CBD, a cannabis compound that lacks marijuana’s psychoactive properties but is used for medical treatments. Hemp growers often sell their CBD to dispensaries.

Yet day-to-day business for a hemp grower is one of uncertainty.

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