Hemp has been a dependable cash crop for American farmers for generations. That is from colonial time to the period of the Great Depression. Hemp papers where used in making the papers where the founding documents of the nation were written. The plant was effectively outlawed during the Great Depression due to money politics. However, the hemp is now legal again and has become a lucrative cash crop in America.
Unlike the past years, hemp is now a popular cash crop as cannabinoids specifically CBD due to their health benefits. This makes the plant even more valuable than the yesteryears when it was only used for fibers. Nevertheless, farmers are worried that the plant is facing the same danger of being faced off the market just like big money invested in synthetic fibers did to hemp fiber in the 1930s. Farmers are concerned that big money in the market today will rush into introducing biosynthetic cannabinoids, which may squelch the potential of hemp in uplifting the economic status of the people in rural America.
Early this week, the FDA held a public hearing about “Cannabis-Derived or Products Containing Cannabis,” which was a discussion on CBD. However, the hearing is likely to have huge effects on all other cannabinoids as scientists continue to discover their potential. With CBD and other cannabinoids (except THC) now legal when grown in the U.S, the hemp industry was well represented.
According to Steve Bevan, the president of GenCanna and U.S. Hemp Roundtable Chairman, CBD is a lucrative agricultural product that would be very beneficial to farmers in the U.S. “This should be about developing the industry from the bottom to ensure that it has the ability to reward farmers more than other crops. Farmers are being encouraged to use healthy and organic techniques. The approach gives the players to reinvent things to ensure that individual farmers, a group of small folks and small emerging brands have room to grow.”
“Congress opened the door for a legal source of CBD by legalizing hemp,” said Bevan. The Roundtable Chairman believes that the Congress had the intention of ensuring that American hemp farms as the only source of CBD and other cannabinoids.
“Hemp was brought from the Controlled Substance Act through the passage of the Farm Bill, which allowed American farmers to produce it legally,” said Bevan. Hemp-derived cannabinoids, excluding THC, are the major drivers of the modern hemp business in the U.S. Thus, the congress had the intention of ensuring that the legalization of hemp was beneficial to local farmers.”
There are no statistics on the number of acres of hemp planted or harvest since no government agency is collecting the data, unlike other agricultural products. Moreover, there are no futures exchange or commodity market posting its prices, and many see hemp as a huge opportunity for local farmers to benefit.
Currently, the boom about hemp is mainly due to CBD, but it is good to mention that the plant is rich in other cannabinoids whose potential are yet to be identified. The other parts of the plants have several economic uses, which makes many people consider it as a potential driver for rural economic development.
“The industry will be able to take the advantage of the other parts of the plant once we are able to scale up a little more.” Added Bevan. We will be able to get hemp oil with high amounts of essential fatty acids, protein from hemp seeds, and fibers. Therefore, if farmers are allowed to grow hemp for CBD, you will be able to enjoy all the ancillary benefits for free, which offers great economic potential.
Fortunately, many companies are keen on making significant investments in hemp processing and getting contracts with farmers across the country. “This means that the industry needs to be legally protected just like the Congress had intended while passing the Farm Bill,” Bevan states.
“The intention of the Congress was not to promote Wall Street financial model or the development of the pharmaceutical industry”, argues Bevan. But the passed legislation intended to provide a new crop to farmers that many people would like to have, especially for medical use.”