Hemp maze in Lancaster County puts a twist on a fall tradition

Lancaster

HOLTWOOD, Pa. (WHTM) — Corn mazes are a classic fall attraction, but Cedar Meadow Farm put a unique twist on the tradition this year by exchanging corn for hemp.

Cedar Meadow Farm started growing hemp and producing CBD oil after the crop was legalized three years ago, the farm’s owner, Steve Groff, explained. This is the first year the farm is offering a hemp maze, which incorporates education about hemp and Cedar Meadow Farm’s agricultural practices with the tricky trek through the crop.

The hemp maze at Cedar Meadow Farm (Credit: Big Picture Studio)

The 4-acre maze includes a section of shorter hemp for younger children and an area with taller plants — reaching up to 12 feet tall — for older kids and adults. The maze also includes a popular hemp seedbox, similar to a sandbox, in which children can play.

The maze creates an image of Grizzly, Cedar Meadow’s farm dog and mascot. Guests may even get to meet Grizzly when they visit the attraction.

Grizzly is part German shepherd and part blue heeler.

The maze is about more than just fun, though. “This isn’t just entertainment; it’s also educational because we have our education stations, we say about all the things that the hemp plant can be used for,” Groff said.

Hemp is a cannabis plant, but Groff said that no, guests won’t get high walking through the maze. The hemp that makes up the maze has less than 0.1% THC, which is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis.

Legally, cannabis plants with less than 0.3% THC are considered hemp, while cannabis plants with greater than 0.3% THC are considered marijuana, which is only legal for medical purposes in Pennsylvania.

Hemp is used in many products, one of the most well-known being CBD oil. The plants used for the corn maze are not the type that is used for CBD oil, though, because that variety is too short for a maze, Groff explained.

Instead, the hemp that makes up Cedar Meadow’s maze primarily produces useful fibers and seeds. The seeds can be eaten by people and other animals, while other parts of the plant can be used to make products such as textiles and biodegradable plastics.

Groff said that the seeds from these hemp plants would be ready to harvest right around mid-September, but because the maze runs through October, the seeds will not be harvested. The fiber will be, though, and Groff said he will send it off to a factory that will turn the lanky plants into other items.

Since the maze opened, hundreds of people have come to visit it, some driving hours to check out the attraction. Groff said he hopes to reach 1,000 total guests this weekend. “People find it fascinating,” he said.

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The hemp maze is open from 1 p.m. until dark on Saturdays through the end of October. At 5 p.m., the farm also offers a “Pumpkin Chunkin’ Buffalo Safari and Farm Tour,” which takes guests on a ride through the farm to learn about its agricultural practices and then to Cedar Meadow’s buffalo pasture, where guests can feed pumpkins to the buffalo.

“If you’re interested in trying something unique, something different, we got it,” said Groff. “It’s educational, it’s informative, but it’s a lot of fun, too.”

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