Future of celebrity-owned hemp farm remains uncertain following flood
PLAINFIELD, Vt. (WCAX) - Plainfield area residents are planning their own green-up day Saturday to clean up flood debris along the Winooski River, which included the remnants of a celebrity-owned hemp farm in the area.
Butch Lakin has fond memories of swimming in the Winooski River his whole life. “This whole stretch of the river means a lot to me,” said the Plainfield resident.
But debris remains scattered along the banks of the river from the July flood. Some of the flotsam — plastic bins and bags — floated down from MONTKUSH. The hemp farm is owned by celebrity pitchman Anthony Sullivan, made famous for his sale of Oxyclean, and more recently the Vice TV series “Kings of Kush,” about growing hemp on their Plainfield farm.
The floods ripped through Sullivan’s warehouse, sending plastic bins and bags full of hemp and other debris downstream. The warehouse now sits abandoned.
Some we spoke with are frustrated that the owners have not pitched in to help with the cleanup. “MONTKUSH didn’t really put anything into the neighborhood. They didn’t give us any additions. They gave us a cheap TV show,” said Sara Putnam, a nearby resident.
MONTKUSH’s Daniel Sinor says they tried to clean up as much as they could after the floods and they lost millions of dollars worth of product. He says they have not been able to get disaster relief aid but that they do plan to return. “I hope we can get back there and do another grow. It’ll be a bigger grow and we’ll have to hire more people, but it won’t be until next year, so we won’t be able to harvest until September of next year,” Sinor said.
Plainfield is just one community dealing with river flood debris. “The need is all over the state, there’s plenty of work to be done. Connecting with your local watershed group is a great way to get that work done,” said Heather Murphy with Friends of the Winooski River.
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