Did you know that the first traces of hemp were discovered in China and Taiwan sometime around 8000 BCE? (And now we get to enjoy CBD Flower whenever we want!) Although hemp’s roots quite literally sprouted out of the Asian continent, the modern-day hemp industry is bolstering America’s economy; predominantly, the CBD industry is reaping the benefits of hemp cultivation.
A stoner’s dream hemp is not, unless you’re looking to tone down on the THC or reset your tolerance, but the plant is certainly favored among CBD suppliers, farmers in the United States, and cigarette users trying to stop smoking!
Unlike marijuana, which can yield an abundance of the psychoactive substance THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), hemp grows with plenty of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD (cannabidiol).
Due to increasing demand for CBD, the plant presents a lucrative opportunity for farmers and agricultural workers. Analysts predict that the CBD industry could bring in sales to the amount of $23.7 billion by 2023 in the U.S. alone.
Why is hemp farming so valuable for the CBD market?
Hemp and marijuana are two plants belonging to the Cannabis Sativa L family. Although they may come from the same plant family, marijuana is still illegal at the federal level; in spite of the fact that it has been legalized in 33 U.S. states for medical purposes and 11 for recreational purposes.
Tight regulations and restrictions on marijuana have prompted many budding entrepreneurs to start investing in the hemp market. Considering the fact that human agriculture dates back some 10,000 years, hemp was essentially one of the first ever agricultural crops to be harvested by man.
The versatile plant boasts a wide field of uses in the commercial and industrial hemp industries, including biofuel, bioplastics, clothing, food, rope, insulation, shoes and textiles.
If industry analysis from Brightfield Group, LLC is anything to go by, hemp farmers and hemp-derived CBD companies stand to make a healthy profit from this valuable commodity. The cannabis research firm published a report on the CBD hemp industry last year – called the “Hemp-Derived CBD 2018 Market Overview & Analysis” – that spotlighted how it could inflate to $22 billion by 2022.
The Discovery, Prohibition and of Hemp in North America
Hemp first arrived in North America way back in 1606. During the 1700s, many farmers in the U.S. were legally obligated to cultivate what was once considered a staple crop. Thomas Jefferson even wrote a draft version of the Declaration of Independence on a piece of hemp paper!
Even though the plant was once favored by the Founding Fathers, its legal status was changed drastically in the early 1900s; the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 imposed steep taxes on hemp sales, thus dismantling the lucrative industry.
Thankfully – for modern day hemp farmers, the U.S. economy and CBD consumers – the plant was removed from the list of Schedule 1 Controlled Substances following the signing of the Hemp Farming Act 2018. Based on the details of the Act, which is commonly referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is defined as cannabis containing less than .3% THC.
When the Farm Bill went into effect on December 20, 2018, the hemp plant became a normal agricultural commodity. Since this time, CBD production, sale and consumption has dramatically soared.
October Welcomes New Regulatory Framework for Hemp Production in the U.S.
As if the 2018 Farm Bill didn’t do enough to increase cultivation opportunities, the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program was recently developed; announced by the U.S Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on October 29, 2019.
The program establishes the regulatory framework for hemp cultivation in the U.S., meaning that farmers and CBD producers can now ramp up their operations. Prior to the new rule, farmers in various states were cultivating small amounts of hemp under the 2014 Farm Bill Pilot Program. (You can read the draft of the new rule here.)
“At USDA, we are always excited when there are new economic opportunities for our farmers, and we hope the ability to grow hemp will pave the way for new products and markets,” expressed Secretary Perdue. “We have had teams operating with all hands-on-deck to develop a regulatory framework that meets Congressional intent while seeking to provide a fair, consistent, and science-based process for states, tribes, and individual producers who want to participate in this program.”
We are very proud to be a part of this industry! Sources say that America imports in excess of $500 million worth of hemp and hemp-related products each year, with the majority being imported from China. Thanks to the reclassification of hemp, farmers in the U.S. are presented with ample opportunities to yield the plant for its profitable primary ingredient, CBD.
According to Bloomberg, over 200,000 acres of hemp have been licensed for cultivation in the U.S. this year; a significant increase from the 25,000 acres that were licensed in 2017.
As the global hemp CBD market begins to rival the cannabis CBD market in terms of predictions – not to mention the fact that hemp is much less tightly regulated than cannabis – agricultural workers will likely not be out of a job any time soon.