Published on December 16, 2018 by David Wylie

Hemp is the new cash crop

Hemp farming is about to grow in the US.

Congress has passed the 2018 Farm Bill, an omnibus bill that expands legalized hemp production. All that’s left is for President Donald Trump to sign the bill into law this week, expected Thursday.

This is a much needed cash crop for farmers in the US, particularly in states where tobacco production has been nearly butted out.

The growing industry will help supply a surge in the CBD market, which is being used to produce in all kinds of products for both medicinal and recreational use.

Farmers have been growing “industrial hemp” since 2014, sativa plants that can contain only 0.3 percent or less THC. The changes will remove industrial hemp and its extracts from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.

The seeds were planted earlier this year for a similar boon in Canada.

Overnight millionaires?

In Canada, the rules for hemp changed on Oct. 17, slipping under the radar of the much higher profile recreational cannabis changes.

Before legalization, hemp farmers were not allowed to harvest leaves or flowers – only seed, fiber, and hurds. However, now farmers can sell leaves and flowers to cannabis companies to make CBD products.

Rob McIntyre, CFO of Salvation Botanicals, told Hemp Magazine the Nanaimo, BC, company is ready to expand its CBD extraction operations.

“We couldn’t be happier that today our long-range plans come to fruition and we can finally purchase field-grown hemp flower,” said McIntyre.

“Does it mean that hemp farmers are millionaires overnight? Unlikely, as the low potency of field grown hemp presents its own unique economic and scientific challenges. With the right harvest and extraction partners, however, farmers can expect to see a significant increase in revenue per acre.”

In Alberta, hemp farmers are optimistic about hemp, going so far as to call it “the next canola.”

Danny Fieldberg, who grows hemp just outside Medicine Hat, told the Calgary Herald, “Once it gets going, there will be no stopping it.”

Industrial hemp is primarily grown across the Prairies.

You’ve likely seen hemp products all over the place, perhaps without even realizing it.

15 things made from hemp:

  • Biofuel
  • Hemp seed oil
  • Paper
  • ‘Hempcrete’ homes
  • Protein powder
  • Batteries
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Beer and spirits
  • Milk
  • Clothing
  • Backpacks
  • Beauty products
  • Candles
  • Dog treats
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