(UPI)--A University of Wisconsin professor who is an expert on agricultural markets and international trade says industrial hemp would find a limited market if production were approved by Congress.

That would result in high production costs and would keep farmers from growing it on any significant scale, associate Professor Randall Fortenberry said.

Erwin Sholtz, chairman of the North American Industrial Hemp Conference, said Fortenberry is not asking the right questions when he studies potential hemp demand in the United States.

Sholtz said researchers "only asked companies how much industrial hemp they were using." Most companies are using very little hemp since it is still illegal to grow it in the United States and has to be imported, which makes it impractical for large-scale production needs.

Sholtz retired as director of the agricultural development and diversification program in the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture to head up the hemp association full time.

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