Hemp on display at Brown County Fair

DE PERE, Wis (WBAY) The Brown County Fair is happening right now at the fairgrounds in De Pere through Sunday.

This year, after gaining state approval, it is the first fair in the state to exhibit and judge hemp.

For those overseeing the fair and those who grow hemp, it's a groundbreaking moment.

"Hemp is legally allowed to be grown in Wisconsin once you're licensed, I mean it's a big deal, we're the first fair in the state of Wisconsin to exhibit the hemp and judge the hemp," says Brown County Fair President Steve Corrigan.

"This is sort of pulling down of the Prohibition mantra for hemp over the last 100 years," adds Dennis Nelson from Suamico.

Nelson is one of 37 licensed hemp growers in Brown County.

He's in his first year and says it was hard to ignore the sudden popularity of CBD products.

"The economics of it was in March and April the price of an ounce of raw CBD oil was selling per ounce at a higher price point than gold. That got my interest," says Nelson.

"The farmers are going through some very hard economic times right now, and this hemp has the ability to help supplement their income considerably," adds Corrigan.

Corrigan says because hemp has resurfaced as a relatively new crop, state regulators and even the governor's office had to sign off on it being allowed at the fair.

And it came with a few conditions.

"We got to have a little barricade so that the uninformed, uneducated public don't steal the leaves and think they're going to go out back and smoke it in a corn cob pipe, which ain't going to help them at all. They get a severe headache, if you smoke this stuff you get a severe headache," says Corrigan.

But as more turn to hemp as a source of income, the county fair feels its value needs to be showcased.

"Hemp is coming and it's going to be a crop in Wisconsin, and we're just trying to get the educational part of it out there," says Corrigan.