Supervisor pushes plan to cultivate hemp, generate money for Milwaukee County

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Data pix.

Sylvia Ortiz-Velez

MILWAUKEE -- Will Milwaukee County increase its revenue by growing hemp? That is the vision of one Milwaukee County supervisor -- who says the Mitchell Park Greenhouses could grow hemp as a cash crop.

"I believe we can be an industry leader in the state," said Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez.

Ortiz-Velez is pushing a proposal to study cultivating hemp as a way to generate revenue in the county.

"It could be upwards of millions of dollars year. It could be very lucrative," Ortiz-Velez said.

Mitchell Park greenhouses

The supervisor has eyed the Mitchell Park Greenhouses as the best place for studying the production and growth of industrial hemp, hemp seeds and CBD oil. The facility is fully sustained year-round.

"There is really nothing like it in the State of Wisconsin," Ortiz-Velez said.

Parks Director Guy Smith does see a road block in the plan.

Mitchell Park greenhouses

"The biggest thing is just the staffing capacity and not having that knowledge base. I'm open to listening to various options for revenue," Smith said.

"This resolution really is the beginning to start the conversation and see what viable options are," Ortiz-Velez said.

The supervisor found backing from the public and colleagues for thinking of ways to help with park budget issues.

"I think that it's important to have a facility that could help Milwaukee County and Wisconsin be a leader," said one supporter.

Mitchell Park Domes

"I will support the resolution," said Milwaukee County Supervisor Sheldon Wasserman.

The resolution moved forward with unanimous support. Ortiz-Velez is preparing for pushback.

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