Industrial hemp has been around for centuries. As an agricultural product, its worth around the world is well known. Its potential as a sustainable, alternative resource is almost limitless with significant applications including bioplastics, fabrics, biofuels, food, batteries, medication, and beyond. Industrial hemp uses optimism to farmers and a beacon of wish to a world that frantically needs to transition far from a dependence on petrochemicals toward a plant-based economy.
In 1938, long before this contemporary wave of legality, research study, and approval of hemp began spreading out throughout the planet, Popular Mechanics discussed its financial potential, considering it the “billion-dollar crop.” The short article was 80 years ahead of the curve.
However, the hemp plant– specified as a marijuana plant with less than 0.3 percent delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by dry weight– was forbidden in the 1930 s, despite being a major money crop in the United States and the world. It was prohibited due to the fact that of its association with its “illicit cousin,” cannabis.
The whole marijuana plant was efficiently banned for growing and production in the United States under the Cannabis Tax Act of 1937 ( with restricted war time exceptions in the 1940 s – “Hemp for Victory” campaign).
Both Jacks had a comparable vision for the creation of a “hemp market” – a blend of hemp’s historical uses, its possible to attend to social concerns, and ideas of sustainability and environmentalism.
After years of advocacy sustained by the awareness distributed through these particular publications, “commercial hemp” was legalized and defined individually from marijuana for the very first time under federal law, with the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill. President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Costs, which even more promoted hemp as an agricultural pillar. These pieces of legislation, driven mostly by Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, developed the so-called “hemp industry” in the United States. Kentucky and Colorado were ground-zero for the structure of this market, due to the Bluegrass State’s rich history with hemp farming and Colorado’s progressive marijuana policy.
Yet I question whether Jack Frazier or Jack Herer would authorize of these procedures and the existing status of the industrial activity surrounding hemp. While that’s a subject for another day, I wonder if we really have a “hemp market” in the U.S.
The concept of a hemp market has shaped recent legislative activities, state and federal policies, and helped promote an international marketplace around the plant, its derivatives, and materials. However does hemp truly make up a market or is it simply another farming commodity? Put another method, exists a corn market? A wheat industry? Or just a farming industry including corn, wheat, soy, and so on?
Have we gone about this wrong by attempting to specify hemp as its own market, bringing with it specific and restrictive hemp-specific policies? Wouldn’t this genuinely open up mainstream farming to the grand possibilities of the industrial hemp plant.
The “hemp market” wants the same requirements and limitations applicable to other money crops. It is important to understand that we are not reinventing the wheel and existing standards could use to industrial hemp, so why do we need a hemp-specific framework?
I see this most obviously with extracts and cannabinoids and the increase of the “CBD market.” Isn’t CBD just part of an ingredient market with multiple levels– pharma grade, food grade, and supplement components– which already has existing security, effectiveness, and consumer security standards in place? Aren’t there already existing FDA (and comparable standards) for the production of farming extracts, consumables, etc.?
Let me be clear. The preconception and confusion associated with this plant require comprehensive attention and a distinct technique from a market and public policy standpoint.
It might serve everybody’s interest to attach themselves to pre-existing trade companies rather than separating themselves from established, standardized markets. Do we really need organizations that promote so-called hemp product requirements?
Maybe the stigma and fear of hemp’s relationship to marijuana requires it to be treated in a different way.