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Farmers Consider Switching Their Crop

Updated: Monday, May 19 2014, 03:58 PM CDT

ILLINOIS -- They raise cattle and harvest corn, soybeans and hay. Now, some farmers in Illinois are hoping to bring a new crop to their fields. Marijuana.

Newschannel at Nine's Shane Simmons tells us why and what it would take to make the switch.

What's now a field of dirt lies a field of dreams.

"We farm around 1700. It's been quite the little adventure, you know. It's just been exciting."

Frank and Andy Huston are 6th generation farmers in Roseville, Illinois.

"You're always busy."

They harvest traditional crops.

"Corn and soybeans. Some hay, a few cattle."

But now, the two brothers are planning to grow a new "cash crop."

"Yes. Medical cannibis."

"Yea, it's going to be right in through here."

"The building is going to be 150'x70'. It will be 10,500 sq. ft."

The idea began with brother Andy, who wanted to be a part of Illinois' new medical marijuana pilot program that went into effect in 2014.

"There hardly has been anything in my lifetime that you can get into on the ground floor. It's exciting in that fact."

The brothers partnered with Salveo Health and Wellness in Chicago.

"We've been putting a plan together."

A plan that must follow the state's rigorous guidelines.

"They're very extensive, thorough, and very well put together."

For example, the plants must be grown inside with controlled entrances and exits, 24-hour surveillance, and an alarm system, not to mention power supply for the building.

"Very expensive."

But the Huston brothers are not strangers to adversity. Their father died when they were in their early twenties, leaving the farm and all its work behind.

"For a couple young guys, it was sink or swim, so we started swimming."

That motto has stuck. And as their crops grow, so does their dream.

"It's going to create a lot of jobs, too. We are going to try and make sure that this works as a good positive thing for everyone."




Farmers Consider Switching Their Crop


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