Processors are also looking to cash in on the new hemp market. Orochem Technologies Inc. in Naperville issued a statement that it has patents to extract CBD, and plans to help farmers produce a variety of products.
Since passage of the farm bill, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that any use of CBD oil as a dietary or health supplement is illegal without FDA approval, so industry members are waiting for direction from the FDA as to how to comply.
"They need to find a legitimate path for companies to conform to," Stark said.
Earlier this year, the FDA approved the first plant-derived CBD drug, Epidiolex, to treat epilepsy. Hemp supporters claim the plant also helps a wide variety of other ailments, but the FDA has warned CBD marketers against making unsubstantiated medical claims. The removal of hemp from the Controlled Substances Act will allow research to investigate its health effects. That's where growers hope to make big money.
"It's the new thing," Huston said. "The health benefits of CBD oil, I think they're just scratching the surface. I can't wait to see how this industry pans out, because it's going to be huge."