Understanding the laws that govern the hemp industry may seem like something that requires a degree, but it’s actually more cut and dry than you might think. In recent years, widespread decriminalization and advanced scientific study have led to a better comprehension of hemp’s intrinsic value.
From an historical perspective, hemp has long been considered an outlaw crop, something that was strictly prohibited by Federal law. The cannabis plant family from which CBD hemp flower hails has been the subject of many restrictions from as far back at 1906.
Hemp prohibition commenced in the 1920s and was classified as a drug by the mid-1930s. Much of the stigma surrounding hemp was engineered by an establishment which felt that the use of hemp in textile production and so forth threatened the economic viability of competing products.
In more recent years, a new generation of thinkers reconsidered hemp innate value as a diverse and malleable compound, one that could be used to produce everything from biofuel and soil purification to jewelry, paper products and plastics.
A 1998 study published in Environmental Economics found hemp to be environmentally friendly by virtue of the decrease in land use and other atmospheric factors. This study posited that hemp might place a role in reducing our ecological footprint.
In April of 2009, House Republican Ron Paul (Texas) introduced the Industrial Hemp Farming Act which sought to make a clear distinction between marijuana and industrial hemp. Although no additional action was taken to pass this piece of legislation, it left an impression on Congressional leaders and remained at the forefront of the national dialogue.
In 2018, President Trump signed a $867 billion Farm Bill that not only provides financial aid to U.S. Farmers but, also, legalizes industrial hemp as a crop. This landmark legislation enables American artisans to ply their trade without threat of penalty or unreasonable taxation.
The push for this legislation comes amid support from environmental groups who hope the production of non psychotropic hemp will ease or eliminate our economy’s dependence upon so-called “dirty” cotton.
So far the Farm Bill has made it possible for American farmers to achieve incredible economic growth. Since its inception the hemp industry has become a multi-million dollar industry and top economists anticipate it becoming a multi-billion dollar industry in due time.