GODFREY, Ill. – The Great Godfrey Corn Maze is the site of one of the most popular fall-time traditions in the St. Louis region. Starting this autumn, it’s getting a new twist.

The traditional corn maze will switch to a Sunn hemp design this fall, using cannabis-made crops for the first time since it opened in 1999. The Godfrey Village Board approved a measure Tuesday allowing the maze to open this fall using Sunn hemp rather than corn.

Chris Logan, director for the Godfrey Parks and Recreation department, tells FOX 2 that Sunn hemp is easier and cheaper to grow than corn. Organizers of the traditional corn maze sought new options after they had to shut down the maze last year due to unseasonable weather.

Last year’s crops only grew a few feet tall as prolonged rain washed away fertilizer used to prepare the seven-acre corn maze. After last year’s shutdown, a local farmer informed Godfrey village officials of Sunn hemp, which met the same environmental requirements as corn for the purpose of building a maze.

By switching to Sunn hemp, Logan says farmers don’t need to adjust their tasks around the weather nearly as often to properly prepare the maze. Under proper soil conditions and adequate rainfall, Sunn hemp can stretch up to 12 feet tall.

A Minnesota farm launched a similar hemp maze concept last fall. The maze was created in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture in an effort to regulate and increase hemp production and education throughout the state.

Crews will begin preparing the maze, which is located at 1401 Stamper Lane in Madison County, over the next few weeks. Logan says the first steps are spraying the field and planting the Sunn hemp seed. If all goes as planned, the village of Godfrey expects to open the maze near the end of September.

The village of Godfrey expects to share more updates on its website and Facebook page for the maze in the upcoming weeks.