Farmers wary of growing marijuana in Colorado and Washington
Pot seen as risky gamble by Colo. and Wash. farmers
Too many unanswered questions remain about the new law, from how the state will regulate it, to whether entrepreneurs or large corporations should lead the way. And the biggest question: the federal government's role going forward.Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Many states have approved it for medical use, but only Washington and Colorado have legalized it for recreational use.The Justice Department has not said whether it will try to block the two states from implementing their new laws, passed late last year. For that reason, key land-grant universities that typically aid the agriculture industry by researching such things as pest control and crop yields — but rely on federal funding to do so — are avoiding the marijuana industry altogether.In addition, marijuana is a crop that can't be insured, and federal drug law bars banks from knowingly serving the industry.Any combination of those factors makes farmers leery of planting marijuana in the near term, said Bob Young, chief economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation.