NEWTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A new crop is coming to Lackawanna County. Researchers with the Department of Agriculture plan to grow hemp in a farmer's field near Clarks Summit.
Debi D'Amico noticed a farmer plowing then planting earlier this week in the field across the street from her home in Newton Township.
"I thought they were preparing it for corn or something, so yeah, I'm absolutely curious what they are going to be doing with it."
That farmer also placed signs on the field but you have to get up close to read the fine print. They say that the Department of Agriculture plans to use the land to research industrial hemp a possible new crop option for Pennsylvania farmers.
Hemp is similar to marijuana but as the Department of Agriculture says, it contains only .3 percent THC, the ingredients that produce a high.
Ironically, this is not the first time Debi D'Amico has lived near a hemp field
"I lived down in North Carolina and we had it down the road from us, and it was for the military, like I said, I was told they used it for fabric. And we had no problem with it."
Industrial hemp was outlawed in the 1930s but federal laws have since changed, allowing states to now research hemp to see if it could be a viable crop for farmers.
The Department of Agriculture says this field is one of 35 across the state that will see hemp production this season. The land is privately owned.
Debi D'Amico is concerned about the public school across the street.
"You figure that middle school is right across the street, and like I said, you have children over this way, we got children up the road because we've got other houses and that, so I'd be quite curious what they're going to do."
We reached out the Abington Heights School District. The superintendent said he couldn't comment since he wasn't aware of the planned hemp production, but he didn't shy away from the science experiment planned across the street from the middle school.