The pilot research program comes as state officials try to make sense of contradictory federal law.

It's just a field littered with dried cornstalks now, but in just a few weeks, a 3-acre plot in Upper Saucon Township should be covered with a thick layer of green not seen legally in more than 80 years.

Hemp, the no-nonsense cousin of marijuana, was planted there on Thursday as one of 16 state-approved research projects being launched to find out more about what state officials are calling "a promising and versatile crop with enormous market potential."

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Michelle Merlin ~