Lancaster County's Hemp Maze gives a twist to an autumn tradition

HOLTWOOD, Pennsylvania (WHTM) – Corn mazes are a classic fall attraction, but Cedar Meadow Farm has brought a unique twist to the tradition this year by swapping corn for hemp.

Cedar Meadow Farm began growing hemp and producing CBD oil after harvesting was legalized three years ago, explained the farm’s owner, Steve Groff. This is the first year the farm has offered a hemp maze that includes training on hemp and the farming practices of Cedar Meadow Farm with the tricky hike through the harvest.

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

The 4-acre maze includes a section of shorter hemp for younger children and an area of ​​taller plants – up to 3.50 m high – for older children and adults. The maze also contains a popular hemp seed box, similar to a sandpit, for kids to play in.

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The maze creates an image of grizzly, the farm dog and mascot of Cedar Meadow. Guests can even meet grizzlies while visiting the attraction.

Grizzly is part German Shepherd and part Blue Heeler.

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

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Hemp is a cannabis plant, but Groff said guests don’t get high while walking the maze. The hemp that makes up the maze has less than 0.1% THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis.

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

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Hemp is used in many products, one of the most famous being CBD oil. However, the plants used for the corn maze are not the type used for CBD oil as this strain is too short to be a maze, Groff explained.

Instead, the hemp that makes up Cedar Meadow’s maze mainly produces useful fibers and seeds. The seeds can be consumed by humans and other animals, while products such as textiles and biodegradable plastics can be made from other parts of the plant.

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Groff said the seeds of these hemp plants would be ready for harvest by mid-September, but since the maze runs through October, the seeds will not be harvested. The fiber will be, however, and Groff said he will send it to a factory that will turn the lanky plants into other items.

Since the labyrinth opened, hundreds of people have come to visit, a few hours’ drive to explore the attraction. Groff said he hopes to hit 1,000 total guests this weekend. “People find it fascinating,” he said.

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The hemp maze is open on Saturdays through the end of October from 1 p.m. until dark. At 5pm, the farm also offers a Pumpkin Chunkin ‘Buffalo Safari and Farm Tour, which takes guests on a drive around the farm to learn more about farming practices, and then to the Cedar Meadow Buffalo Pasture for the Guests give pumpkins to the buffalo.

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