By / September 21, 2018

US farmers are looking at hemp for better opportunities

Anchored by expanding industry and increasing public acceptance, America slowly anticipates marijuana’s legalization.

Meanwhile, U.S. farmers are looking at industrial hemp for better opportunities.

As a result of today’s economy, farmers have found it difficult to get by. Furthermore, the tariffs placed on exports have caused prices to drop further throughout the year.

However, farmers may have just found the perfect solution to boost their struggling agricultural business. To further revitalize the industry, the solution is hemp production.

Farmers grow hemp all over the world for its strong fibers, for rope, paper products, and clothing

Hemp was a famous colonial crop, with George Washington growing it on his Mount Vernon estate. However, the 1930s cannabis crackdown affected the plant, as hemp and marijuana looked so similar that it’s hard to tell them apart.

Marijuana Plant
Anchored by an expanding industry, America slowly anticipates marijuana’s legalization. (Source)

The 2014 Farm bill allowed hemp if it’s for research and contains less than 0.3 percent THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana.

With this came the discovery of cannabidiol (CBD), a compound producing a range of benefits, with no psychoactive properties.

CBD and the rise of a new market sector

The rise of CBD brought about a new age for the young industry, pushing companies to start manufacturing products infused with it and states to legalize recreational and medical marijuana in one way or another.

However, the rapid rise of the industry did not come with its own problems, as the complex legality of the plant has people confused. It’s also not that easy for farmers. For example, any grower who chooses to cultivate hemp must first pass an FBI background check, obtain state permits, and be subject to regular inspections.

Nevertheless, an increasing amount of farmers are making the switch to hemp, adding to its growing industry. Nearly 10,000 acres of the plant were harvested last year in Colorado, while Oregon followed closely behind with over 3,500 acres. Farmers in Kentucky are even more successful, managing to collect over $18 billion in hemp revenue.

hemp fiber
The hemp plant has many uses and is mainly favored for its strong fibers. (Photo by Marco Verch via Flickr. CC BY 2.0.)

Making the switch

As per Forbes, the most misunderstood product available today may singlehandedly raise agriculture, with the plant outperforming long-standing crops like tobacco.

Is hemp the solution? It could be. The industry is growing at a rapid rate and is expected to hit $31.4 billion by 2021, according to Forbes. Not counting CBD, hemp also has other uses for farmers.

(Featured Image by TinaKru)

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