As legend has it, Henry Ford created a prototype car with biocomposite materials, including hemp. The likes of William Randolph Hearst and the DuPont family saw hemp as a threat, however. Their influence culminated in the ban of the plant, along with marijuana, in 1937.
During World War II, the U.S. Government briefly got behind a ‘Hemp for Victory’ drive. Alas, Wisconsin grew the last plant in 1958. Hemp ended up on the 1970 Controlled Substances Act as a schedule I substance.
The legalization of the crop opens an exciting future. Aside from CBD, there is also industrial hemp oil. It contains minimal CBD but has a slew of potential benefits. Proponents claim it can improve skin conditions such as dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema. Its fatty acid content is also potentially useful for the brain. With so many plus points, it seems odd that a few states refuse to allow its cultivation.
In What States Is It Legal to Grow Industrial Hemp?
At the time of writing, there are 49 industrial hemp legal states, with Idaho the exception.
Even in Idaho, the Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of legalizing hemp in February 2020. Senate Bill 1345 will allow farmers in the state to grow and sell hemp products. As per the 2018 Farm Bill, these items must contain less than 0.3% THC. Idaho will need to submit a plan to the USDA or operate under the federal policy by default. Unfortunately, the House panel killed the legalization bill in an agonizing 8-7 vote in March 2020.
Other states, such as Mississippi, force farmers to apply directly to the USDA.
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It’s a long list when you’re looking at the states it’s legal to grow hemp in 2019 — especially since only three states in the entire country didn’t make the cut.
That said, the restrictions placed by agricultural departments at the state level can severely impact the opportunities for hemp growers.
The 2018 Farming Bill paved the way for farmers to cash in on this incredible crop. However, it’s necessary to research the laws in your state before you get your hopes up. In addition to looking at the current regulations — with so many legislatures reviewing laws regarding industrial hemp growing — you’ll want to keep an eye on what’s potentially coming down the pipeline as well.
Industrial Hemp Farming – Where Is It Legal?
The industrial hemp farming act removed the plant from the list of controlled substances. The 1937 Marihuana Tax Act ban included hemp. However, farmers grew it in locations like Kentucky during the 1950s! It was also widely grown during World War II due to its many uses, which we discuss later on.
The Bill didn’t legalize CBD, nor did it guarantee the legal operation of an industrial hemp farm in every state. It made it clear that states had to develop a plan and submit it to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Therefore, states are allowed to prohibit the growth of the plant.
The Farm Bill didn’t legalize CBD, nor did it guarantee the legal operation of an industrial hemp farm in every state.
At present, Idaho stands alone as the only American state to prohibit industrial hemp cultivation. Both Mississippi and South Dakota passed legislation in hemp’s favor in 2020. Incidentally, both states also legalized medical marijuana in November 2020. South Dakota went a step further. Recreational cannabis could be on sale in SD from 2022.
According to News America, Indiana is now one of the twenty-nine states with approved hemp licensing for commercial businesses.
Many states have submitted their plans for approval. Others have yet to do so and are happy to fall back on the Farm Bill regulations.
If you intend to grow hemp, there are plenty of considerations. Too many farmers are seduced by the potential riches that await them. Some estimates suggest one can earn $100,000 per acre. Of course, you must subtract a myriad of expenses. Nonetheless, this is less of an issue if you grow over 100 acres of high-quality hemp! In most states, up to 90% of all hemp is developed for the CBD industry. This is a shame because it is a crop with phenomenal potential.
What Are Industrial Hemp’s Uses?
The number #1 use of the crop is for the billion-dollar CBD market. It is understandable but limits the potential of this fantastic plant. If you think long and hard, you could develop a long list of useful industrial hemp products. Remember, this is a crop that once dominated the American landscape. Estimates vary, but it is believed that you can make approximately 25,000+ products from the plant!
The settlers at Jamestown in Virginia grew the crop in the 17th century; it was mandatory! Copies of the Bible were made with hemp paper, as was a draft of the Declaration of Independence. Humans used the crop for centuries with industrial hemp fiber, a particular favorite. In the early 1900s, hemp-derived cellulose was championed as a renewable and affordable raw material for plastics.
The key will be to get yourself situated in a state where it’s legal to grow hemp in 2019, and then get your hands on the right seeds and clones to ensure you have the highest quality crop come harvest time
The article also stated Indiana has started accepting hemp cultivation and processing licenses in November for the 2021 growing season. The state is offering one general hemp license and another one for agricultural hemp seed production. Applicants are also required to submit their personal address, GPS coordinates, where the hemp is located and a legal description of the property used for the hemp operation.
Many other states are also currently negotiating commercial hemp licensing plans with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as farmers increasingly seek to grow hemp for manufacturers seeking cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN) and cannbigerol (CBG) for oils, lotions, foods and beverages. With more than 25,000 uses for hemp, farming hemp for textiles, insulation, pet bedding and more are increasing at an exponential rate.
(Source/Credit: News Americas Now)
One theory posits that hemp’s ability to replace synthetic materials such as plastic and nylon was a primary reason for its prohibition. You could make the argument that hemp was a threat to certain industries. DuPont produced neoprene in 1930, for example. However, the same company didn’t invent and patent nylon until the mid to late 1930s.
Incidentally, there is disagreement over the year that nylon was patented. Some sources suggest it was 1937, pbs.org suggests it was 1935, and other sources say it was 1938.
Regardless of the year, the anti-marijuana hysteria in the United States was already at a fever pitch by the mid-1930s. Perhaps the likes of the DuPont family were heavily involved in the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, though we’ll never know.
What we do know is that the world was robbed of an incredible resource for decades. There are thousands of uses for hemp. Perhaps one of the most important is as a replacement for plastic. Hemp plastic is an eco-friendly alternative to the carbon-based plastics we use today. The hemp version is usually recyclable and biodegradable.
Is it a viable alternative for plastic, however? Can hemp even replace plastic? We find out.
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