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Entrepreneurs Are Betting on a Billion-Dollar Future for Hemp

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Meet your local hemp farmers.

Before he started JD Farms, Mark Justh was a managing director for JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Asia. His co-founder, Dan Dolgin, worked in counterterrorism for various agencies in Washington.

Now these two men are partners in the hemp business. JD Farms specializes in top-quality food products—including baby greens salad mix, pasta, and cold-pressed oil—and its becoming a culinary sensation across the country.

Located in Eaton, N.Y., about 30 miles southeast of Syracuse, JD Farms is the first legal hemp farm in New York in more than 80 years. It’s set on 1,500 acres of certified organic land, which Justh purchased in 2008 when he developed an interest in sustainable farming. “There was a tremendous agricultural infrastructure,” Justh says of the potential he saw. “The region had been a major dairy area, but the farms were neglected. Commodity milk prices had challenged the local economy.”

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