Hemp is the Future
Cannabis is a controversial plant which is enjoying a lot of mainstream appeal lately. The legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in many states in the U.S. has lead to the reconsideration of cannabis as a new economic and agricultural frontier.
The Industrial Hemp Farming Act is a bill introduced to the senate which would separate hemp from it’s taboo counterpart, marijuana, under the law. This is an attempt to move the hemp crop forward from the legal drawbacks it has had under the “war on drugs." Under such legislative changes, Hemp farming may become a totally legal industry in Hawaii this year and farmers in Indiana hope to make bold moves with the plant - where is it currently only allowed to be grown for research purposes.
The entrepreneurs who own the first, modern legal hemp farm in New York are proponents of hemp as a food product. And until 2016, they were not allowed to sell any products from their farm. They consider hemp a superfood which is incredibly high in protein, necessary amino acids, and a plant-based substitute for fish oil supplements.
The political support for hemp-sales comes from its multi-million dollar economic outlook.
Some large producers of hemp textiles hope to be able to compete with producers like China. EnviroTextiles would like to be able to provide a more readily available option for U.S.-based hemp fabrics. The company also advocates for legislation and industry investments which would help sustain the growth of industrial hemp in the U.S.
An ever-growing amount of research is being conducted on the plant by institutions such as SUNY and The American Chemical Society. This scientific research investigates the possibilities of the cannabis plant not only as a pharmaceutical drug, but as a crop. These potentials include everything from biodegradable packaging, to high-capacity energy storage, foods sources, clothing, building materials, plastics, fabrics, animal feed, medicines and oil.
In addition to these applications of hemp, the plant is also a supplier of CBD - the component of cannabis which is not psychoactive (it doesn't get you high), and is regarded for its health-and-healing properties for medicinal use. CBD is a large part of the cannabis and hemp market and is also projected to drive the hemp market rapidly forward this year. We'd recommend reading this article: A powerful new form of medical marijuana, without the high.
"Lily Rowland receives a dose of an oil derived mainly from cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychoactive substance in hemp. She used to suffer hundreds of seizures with violent convulsions every day. Her family moved to Colorado, which voted to legalize marijuana in 2012, so that she could begin a daily regimen. The drug doesn’t work for everyone, but today nine-year-old Lily is often seizure free and on her worst days has only one or two." -National Geographic
From Colorado to Poland, hemp conferences and trade shows will be held all over the world in 2018. Events like the NoCo Hemp Expo are a space for researchers, farmers, innovators, and enthusiasts to showcase all that they know and love about the plant. These events attract investment and promote knowledge about the advantages of blossoming industries like hemp. Hemp Edification has a wonderful article about this expansion, "Hemp is a powerhouse of sustainable solutions with a track record of success globally. The Hemp Business Journal calculated United States (US) sales of hemp products in 2015 to be 25% greater than their 2014 total of $400 million. Thirty-six countries throughout Asia, Europe, South America, Africa and North America permit hemp production... Chinese companies in the Cannabis industry have in recent years achieved
'sales revenue [of] about six or seven times the value of their fixed assets'. US Congress should reflect on how they are limiting American research and development for hemp products, which gives the US’ main economic competitor an advantage." -Hemp Edification
Some nay-sayers believe hemp industry is an unlikely economic competitor, but in the American market where the consumer has the potential to get what they ask for it is evermore important for us as consumers and voters to ask for more from the hemp economy. Especially as hemp in all of its forms is gaining widespread popularity, the future is bright for Hemp!
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