MARTIC TOWNSHIP, LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. -- Hundreds of people across the state are cashing in on Pennsylvania's newest cash crop.
It's harvest time at Steve Groff's farm in Martic Township, Lancaster County.
Groff rented an old green house which was once used to dry out tobacco.
Now, workers are hanging hemp to dry.
"Each plant is worth about twenty dollars," explained Groff. "It's more than pennies. We have a couple of these stems worth a dollar or more."
Just 34 people held permits to grow hemp in 2018, according to the Pennsylvania Department Of Agriculture.
Now, heading into 2020, more than 350 people do.
Thousands of acres of hemp across the state will be harvested and sold in the next few week or so.
"It is certainly an opportunity to cash in because the prices are very high," said Groff. "It's just great for agriculture right now because it's been in somewhat of a slump, particularly with the corn and soybeans, and the dairy has been really bad."
It's also a valuable plant for crop rotation.
"It's kind of like the gift that keeps on giving, and it does help the soil. It's not hard on the soil," added Groff.
Once dried out, Groff will sell his hemp plants locally; the oils will be extracted for cbd.
Hemp is valuable in more ways than one, though.
"Historically, some is for marijuana," he said. "Even putting the fibers in concrete is showing promise. They're actually using this in really high-tech ways like in race cars now."
Hemp can also be used in clothes, paper, and even food!
"This is a reality that doesn't come along very many times in the lifetime of a farmer," said Groff.
As for Groff's potential profit?
"If we can profit around ten thousand [dollars] an acre, I'd be pretty happy," added Groff.
With 23 acres of hemp currently being harvested, you can do the math.
It's not all profits, though.
There are permit fees and costs associated with testing the hemp.
Besides that, Groff says it can be very complicated actually getting hemp from the fields to extractors because the industry is so new and unregulated.
Groff hopes 2020 will bring more regulation.