WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Local farmers are showing an interest in growing hemp.

Texas Hemp Growers held a six-hour training session for current and potential hemp farmers at the MPEC.

This class was to teach farmers how to grow hemp for a number of uses and the industrial applications of hemp.

According to the Texas Department of Agriculture, more than 1,400 hemp licenses were issued this past year resulting in over 5,800 acres of crop.

Officials said now is the right time to get into growing the crop.

“There’s a cash value that a lot of the farmers see right now comparatively to other crops that they’re probably more familiar with growing. This one is obviously paying them much higher in return if it’s done right and it’s done well,” Zachary Maxwell, Texas Hemp Growers president, said.

A representative from hemp processing company Panda Biotech was at the meeting.

He said the company hopes to begin processing in the building by March 2022, and that farmers need to get ready to contribute to the company early in the process.