For the first time, the state has opened up growing and processing industrial hemp to farmers, businesses and researchers. State agriculture officials expect industrial hemp production will almost double in 2018.

At the Spoth farm in Amherst, a new crop will sprout in coming months on about 100 acres previously set aside for corn.

The difference will be obvious. The new plants will look like marijuana.

The Spoth farm, a fixture on Tonawanda Creek Road for generations, will likely rank among New York State's largest hemp farms this year.

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T.J. Pignataro ~ BuffaloNews.com

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