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RANDY PATRICK/The Kentucky Standard
Aaron Allen, a farm worker, rakes hemp into a cardboard box while Bruce Johnston raises and holds the barrel.
Hemp farming comes ‘full circle’

When Basil Hayden came to Kentucky from Maryland in 1785 and settled on what is now Elaine and Jack Roché’s farm in eastern Nelson County, he became well known as a whiskey maker. But Butch Johnston believes he was also a hemp farmer, because most Kentucky farmers grew hemp in those days, mostly for textiles.

Today, the Rochés are reviving hemp farming, but not for the fiber. Instead, they’re cultivating two acres for the flowers and leaves, which are used to make CBD oil, a popular natural remedy for everything from anxiety to arthritis.