One of Oregon's first hemp farmers says a lack of seed is making it tough to get going.

Josephine County Commissioner Cheryl Walker says fertile seed is expensive and hard to come by because the federal government prohibits imports.

She figures it will take three years for her to save enough homegrown seed to produce a crop big enough for traditional products — fiber, oil and seed.

Walker will send the flowers from her 500 plants to a medical marijuana facility that extracts compounds known as CBDs, which are also found in marijuana and believed to have medicinal qualities.

This is the first year Oregon farmers can grow hemp. Growing hemp without a federal permit was banned in 1970 due to its classification as a controlled substance and relation to marijuana.