What's the Big Deal About Growing Hemp?

22 Jan

The United States of America is the only G7 country that does not cultivate, manufacture, or consume Industrial hemp. Despite having the tenth largest economy in the world and controlling a huge portion of the global supply, the US Government has so far been reluctant to fully lift restrictions on the cultivation and sale of this plant. In fact, in November 2021, President Obama signed an executive order encouraging federal agencies to further research and experiment with the benefits of hemp. He called it "one of the most promising natural resources."

Many hemp farmers are apprehensive about the future of their business in the absence of an organic hemp market. "The federal government doesn't seem to understand the value of this natural resource," admits David Williams, owner of Blue Grass Field, a medicinal marijuana company based in California. "We need it more than anything right now because of the demand for non-toxic, organic products." According to Williams, if the federal government starts pushing for organic hemp cultivation and marketing, the farmers of this precious resource will be "eliminated" from the payrolls of multi-national companies.

Although many scientists agree that there is no evidence that consuming hemp will have any significant psychoactive effects, many state that it would be impossible for the drug to exist without the usage of the crops that contain it. If organic farmers were permitted to cultivate and sell plants containing this ingredient, they would have no need to resort to harsh chemical methods to preserve them. Additionally, genetically modified organisms have been shown to cause some types of cancer in mice, and it is believed that the same could happen in humans. If organic farmers were allowed to use their crops without adding any form of GMO to protect them, then they might be liable for malpractice. A recent report by a federal committee was even more pointed in its criticism of the USDA's inability to address the issue of pesticides used on genetically modified crops:

Currently, the USDA is attempting to use a loophole in the law to get around the problems inherent in their stated goal of organic hemp production. On their page they claim that any hemp products that contain "genetically-altered" traits are not covered by the definition of organic agricultural substances. The problem with this argument is that hemp is not even classified as such in most states (this is why it is so hard to find it in stores). And, according to industry experts, the hemp industry has yet to be able to garner any significant revenue due to the fact that it is simply too new to be counted on as a "sure thing" in terms of income.

Even if cannabis was legalized, the cannabis industry would still face stiff restrictions, which make organic industrial hemp production nearly impossible. Marijuana is considered an illegal substance under most jurisdictions, making it impossible to ship it across state lines or allow anyone to purchase it without a valid ID card. Additionally, it is nearly impossible to travel with cannabis in any form, let alone transport it across state lines or into another jurisdiction. Even if cannabis were legalized, it would be considered a controlled substance, which would severely limit where it could be distributed and how it could be used.

So far, there is no evidence suggesting that the United States Government, or anyone for that matter, should make the mistake of legalizing marijuana, because doing so would effectively destroy any chance the government might have had of reaping any benefit from cultivating hemp. However, many farmers feel as if hemp should be legalized because they would then be able to participate in the global agricultural market that currently serves as the backbone of the American economy. Hemp can produce fiber, fuel, and clothing; and, if grown properly, it can also replace many other types of crops in our grocery stores and can be used to create paper. Organic farmers would then be able to earn more profit than they ever could before, if they were allowed to grow industrial hemp.

Check out this post for more details related to this article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabidiol#History.

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