Industrial hemp is growing in popularity daily, and the plant promises to be the next best thing in
Some states in the US are ahead of others in taking advantage of the economic opportunity that the plant provides. Kentucky is set to be the leader in hemp production in the US.
According to the Agriculture Commissioner of Kentucky, Ryan Quarles, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of hemp farms in the state. Officials in the state recently approved 1,035 applications from farmers to grow industrial hemp. The farmers are expected to produce more than 42,086 acres of industrial hemp in 2019. The number of applications from farmers to grow hemp has increased dramatically. In 2018, the state only received 210 applications to grow hemp.
“The numbers tell you what you need to know about the excitement about hemp in Kentucky,” Quarles said. ” The growth in the number of approved acres…. shows that Kentucky is rapidly becoming the epicenter of the hemp industry in the United States.”
The rise in popularity of industrial hemp has increased across the country since the Farm Bill was passed. Late last year, President Donald Trump signed the Farm Bill into law;giving farmers in the US the right to grow industrial hemp. The law also took the industrial hemp off the federal list of banned substances.
For years, federal authorities have prohibited the use of hemp which is commonly confused with marijuana. However, unlike marijuana, industrial hemp contains low levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most active chemical compound in marijuana. According to the Farm Bill, industrial hemp should contain 0.3 to 0.5 percent of THC.
Following the passing of the Farm Bill, hemp farmers in the U.S. can now apply for crop insurance, grants, and loans. Hemp farmers can also write off their business expenses in their taxes like farmers of other crops.
Although industrial hemp does not contain THC, research shows that the plant has a lot of manufacturing potential that could be great for businesses across the country. The whole plant can be used. Hemp has been used for the production of fiber for making robes and clothing. Hemp is also used in the manufacturing of cooking oil, hemp milk, soaps, and lotions. However, hemp is very popular for Cannabidiol (CBD), which does not have psychoactive effects. Scientists have revealed that CBD has a host of beneficial properties.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) supports the legalization of industrial hemp but has reservations about CBD. The FDA recently approved a CBD-based drug named Epidiolex. This drug, which is the first of its kind to be approved, is meant for the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy that typically affect children.
Although many enthusiasts of industrial hemp thought that the passing of the Farm Bill would lead to full-scale legalization of products made from CBD, the FDA is calling for more clinical research into the medical benefits of CBD.