The importance and uses of Hemp have been reinforced time and now. Hemp and hemp products have finally begun to be normalized into daily lives. In the US, the resurgence of Hemp has had not only health implications but also legal and economic implications. Going back in History, Hemp production temporarily ceased around the 1950’s citing federal regulations and market conditions. Growing awareness of the innate benefits which increased demand made a resurgence of hemp on the production scene. So, the US started producing Industrial Hemp. The executive order 12919 of 1994 categorized hemp as a strategic national product.
A strategic national product is one that can be stockpiled. The Industrial Hemp farming act and the 114 senates could not address the issues around the regulation of Hemp. A tussle between the federal and state authorities over hemp- that is information regarding low THC content of hemp when there was higher THC content in Marijuana. With time, there grew an interest as various pressure groups like American Farm Bureau Federation, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, National conference of state legislatures and National Farmers Union started advocating for de-scheduling of hemp. This has resulted in the Hemp Farming Act, 2018. It was sponsored by Mitch McConnell and co-sponsored by Sens. It aims to clear the confusion around hemp at the federal level.
What does the Hemp Farming Act propose?
- It seeks to remove hemp that is cannabis that has THC content less than 0.3% from Schedule 1 of controlled substances (which has opium, heroin and other drugs often termed for substance abuse).
- It aims to make hemp into the category of ordinary agricultural commodity.
- It seeks to avail to the farmers who grow hemp water accessibility rights and federal regulated agricultural grants
- They also want to bring hemp farmers into the banking system which is considered a gray area for the cannabis industry.
- They also provide facilities for research and development and further activities like marketing, crop insurance, and research
What will be the Benefits of Legalizing Hemp?
FOR THE GOVERNMENT:
- For the government, legalizing hemp would mean the following-
- Public assistance as legalization has been widely requested
- Source of revenue
- Expand the domestic production
- It can fuel the exports of hemp
FOR HEMP FARMERS/COMPANIES:
- For growers and companies, this means good news and brings about the following:
- A lot of opportunities
- Better research facilities
- More provision of farming supplements
- More jobs in the sector
- Provision of natural supplements
- Economic stability
There are already research projects coming up due to the bill like for instance a team of students from the University of Louisville has started studying its use as an energy source and a biofuel. States like Kentucky, Virginia where Hemp is a part of their agricultural heritage will find representation and this could be a big thing for the future of the state. This act will do the needful in asserting that the future lies in natural, healing remedies of hemp as opposed to artificial healers. This impactful economically positive bill also echoes with the public sentiment and will only revolutionize wellness, create more jobs, better products in the US.
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