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Get Lost In the Country's First Hemp Maze

Fall corn mazes are so last year.

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There are some easy jokes about getting lost in a maze of cannabis — "Wait...didn't I take that turn already?" — but farmer Ted Galaty says his weed isn't for smoking. The Hemp Maze Minnesota at Willow's Keep Farm is for educational purposes only.

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"Industrial hemp is usually grown for its food, its fiber or it's grown for the medicinal side of it," Galaty told WCCO-TV, "not to get people high."

The maze was created in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, which aims to regulate and increase hemp production throughout the state with support from the USDA.

The Minnesota Industrial Hemp program started in 2016 with only six growers and 38 acres of hemp, all planted for fiber and grain. By 2019, there were more than 300 growers, with nearly 80% of the 8,000 acres planted intended for CBD extraction (medicinal marijuana has been legal in Minnesota since 2014). Things got a little sticky in 2020, however, when a very small percentage of the lots were testing at higher THC levels than allowed. 

But the hemp farms aren't going anywhere, and now there's just one more use for the plants.

It's no suprise that, like just about everywhere, sales in the state are booming in Minnesota. According to WCCO-TV, this past Labor Day weekend saw another huge spike in business. Everyone's jumping on the weed train — or into the hemp maze, as it were.