My blog is dedicated to the exploration of industrial hemp in America including the rich history of all forms of cannabis, the evolving law and politics of hemp and marijuana, the many products made from cannabis and the capacity, real or imagined, of hemp to re-industrialize rural America and revitalize the American family farm.
Nearly 10,000 acres of domestic US hemp were planted across 15 states in 2016, 817 hemp cultivation licenses were issued, 30 universities conducted research on cannabis sativa as an agricultural and industrial crop and 31 states have laws defining industrial hemp.
This according to the nation’s leading grassroots hemp advocacy organization working to change state and federal laws to allow commercial hemp farming. Vote Hemp has just released its 2016 States Report, which documents the state-by-state progress of hemp legislation passed in 2016, reported acreage of hemp grown, identifies states with active hemp pilot farming programs and advocacy work the organization has lead over the past year.
Enormous progress on many industrial hemp fronts in 2016
“We’ve seen enormous progress this past year toward returning this historic crop to American farmlands,” said Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp.
“US consumers constitute the largest market for hemp products in the world–the demand is here for full scale hemp farming across the country. But growing the crop remains restricted at the federal level, due to outdated and misguided drug policy. We need Congress to take action this year to legalize this crop, so that American farmers can take advantage of the enormous economic opportunity industrial hemp presents.”
Since the passage of Section 7606 of the Farm Bill, “Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research,” hemp cultivation in the US has grown rapidly. In 2016 alone, 9,649 acres of hemp were planted across 15 states; 817 hemp cultivation licenses were issued; and 30 universities conducted research on the crop.
Seed crops have advantage in processing and markets
Among the fastest-growing categories in the natural foods industry, hemp seed is a rich source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids (EFAs), providing both SDA and GLA, highly-digestible protein, and naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E and iron. An excellent source of dietary fiber, hemp seed is also a complete protein—meaning it contains all ten essential amino acids, with no enzyme inhibitors, making it more digestible by the human body.
Advancements in hemp research and manufacturing demonstrate the remarkable versatility and product-potential for hemp. Hemp bast fiber has shown promising potential to replace graphene in supercapacitor batteries, which could then be used to power electric cars and handheld electric devices and tools. Hemp fiber can also be used to create environmentally friendly packaging materials, and hard bio-plastics for use in everything from airplanes to car parts.
Hemp housing can address homelessness, jobs, earthquake preparedness
The US Department of Agriculture licensed nearly a million acres of hemp for the WWII effort to stop fascism and defend democracy. The film, Hemp for Victory, was to encourage farmers to plant cannabis hemp.
Hemp houses are also on the rise, as hempcrete, which is energy-efficient, non-toxic, resistant to mold, insects and fire, has many advantages to synthetic building materials, lumber and concrete.
To date, 31 states have defined industrial hemp as distinct and removed barriers to its production. These states are able to take immediate advantage of the industrial hemp research and pilot program provision, Section 7606 of the Farm Bill: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.
Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and a free market for low-THC industrial hemp and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow the agricultural crop. More information about hemp legislation and the crop’s many uses may be found at www.VoteHemp.com.