Colorado poised to be leader in new national hemp market

Jermaine Castillo
December 15, 2018

Rodes says growing hemp isn't new to Virginia, but it's been illegal for quite a few years.

The 2018 Farm Bill includes the Hemp Farming Act 2018 which federally legalizes hemp and hemp products in the US, including extracts, derivatives and cannabinoids, and permanently removes hemp from the USA federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

Other provisions would legalize industrial hemp farming, ban the slaughter and import of dogs and cats for human consumption, and extend national bans on dogfighting and cockfighting to include US territories.

Historically, hemp was one of the earliest grown crops in the Shenandoah Valley, serving as a cash crop for many farmers centuries ago, when hemp was necessary to create rigging for ships.

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Most of that growth will be due to demand for CBD, a non-psychoactive compound found in hemp that many believe has health benefits. The manufacture and sale of hemp-derived CBD, however, was strictly regulated and sometimes left out of states' medical cannabis market frameworks.

The inclusion of CBD has the potential of greatly expanding the size of the legal hemp industry. The company hasn't declared any USA assets, and it declined to comment on US hemp plans.

"While I feel there were missed opportunities in forest management and in improving work requirements for certain SNAP recipients, this bill does include several helpful provisions", Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement, referring to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

"Moreover, our deep experience, extensive relationships, and flawless agricultural product safety record as a vertically integrated grower serving most major food retailers in the USA and Canada provide an exceptional foundation to enable Village Farms to play a leading role in the birth and development of this industry". "In the next few years, hemp will once again become the valued commodity it once was just a few generations ago".

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Bruce Perlowin, the CEO of the company Hemp Inc.

"That could be have been a death blow for us", Welch said. The bill guarantees $435 million in permanent funding to educate military veterans, socially disadvantaged and novice farmers by tripling the current budget of the Farming Opportunities Training and Outreach Program. "Hemp is an environmentally friendly, sustainable resource that is incredibly versatile".

And cultivating hemp can also help eliminate contaminants in the soil, Joseph added. Proponents say it has other therapeutic uses, such as easing pain and anxiety. "This is a very exciting environmental benefit to hemp cultivation that is hardly mentioned".

"Greenhouses will have a role - although not as much as fields for pure CBD-hemp - only because there will be pharmaceutical companies that want to grow in a controlled environment", Mr. DeGiglio said.

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The bill would also increase the maximum amount of farmland permitted to be enrolled in CRP, from 24 million acres to 27 million.

Michelle and Scott Fields, who run an organic hemp farm outside Grants Pass, Oregon, include a detailed letter to law enforcement in each package they ship that explains the dried flowers inside may look a lot like pot, but actually can't get anyone high. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., played a key role in negotiations to remove the crop from the federal list of controlled substances.

"One of the things in my experience with the farm bills is, it tends to be kind of a regional battle more so than a political battle".

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