While the federal government has spent years classifying hemp as a dangerous drug because it derives from the cannabis plant—even though it is not a drug at all—more than 70 percent of the states in the country have passed laws legalizing industrial hemp production and farmers in more than 30 percent of states have taken part in producing industrial hemp, even with the threat of federal prosecution.
Instead of bowing down to the federal government, states across the country have started to fight back, and farmers in 17 states—California, Colorado, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming—have obtained state licenses to produce industrial hemp for commercial purposes.
A report from the National Conference of State Legislators also revealed more than half of the country, or 35 states, have passed laws legalizing industrial hemp production, which have addressed “the definition of hemp, licensure of growers, regulation and certification of seeds, state-wide commissions and legal protection of growers.”
Hemp is the product of a variety of the cannabis plant, and although it is non-psychoactive, it is still treated as a drug in the United States. However, hemp has the potential to be used in more than 25,000 products, including fibers, textiles, paper and construction and insulation materials—which may explain why the federal government seems intent on keeping it from the public.
The changes at the state level seem to be making a significant impact, and even though there is a lingering threat of prosecution from the federal level, a report from Hemp Industry Daily claimed that “the U.S. market for hemp-derived CBD hit $291 million in 2017 and will balloon to $1.65 billion by 2021—growth of more than 500% in just four years.”…