Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources announced Friday it will allow the farming of marijuana and hemp on more than 73,000 acres of protected farmland.
MDAR, which oversees agricultural business and hemp in Massachusetts, has been working since 2020 on ways to reform what is known as the Agricultural Preservation Restriction program, a voluntary and first-in-the-nation program enacted by the state in 1979 that protects farmland for future agricultural use.
While the program has protected 73,000 acres and 930 properties, the landowners who had signed up for the program were unable to farm legalized cannabis and hemp, even after voters legalized marijuana in 2016.
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