Dale Puckett, a Patrick businessman, took the plunge and invested in hemp plants to grow. He began in January, and before the end of April was already showing a profit. Puckett, now known as “Papa Hemp,” holds some of the mother plants in his grow operation.  (Photos by Angela Jones)
By Debbie Hall

Although he says he is growing zebras, Dale Puckett’s nickname – Papa Hemp – leads one to think otherwise.

He actually is growing hemp at Puckett Green House in Ararat, which he and his wife, Debby Puckett, own.

The zebra growing description is part of an analogy that Puckett uses to explain his new business venture, mainly because the hemp plants resemble marijuana.

“You know how a zebra looks like a horse, but it’s not? Hemp looks like marijuana, but it’s not.  That’s why I say we grow zebras,” Puckett said.

Marijuana is a psychoactive drug from the cannabis plant, which contains THC levels of up to 5 percent, he said. The drug is used for medicinal and recreational purposes.

Hemp produces cannabidiol, Puckett said, adding that chemical is sought by processors to manufacture CBD creams, oils and other products. It has less than 0.3 percent…

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