hemp in usa's rural economy

Why hemp production is a key component in the rural economic development in the USA?

The use of Hemp is unlawful in most parts of the world. The plant, which has 12,000 years of history, got a new lease of life in the US. New legislation passed in 2018, reclassified it into one of the most wanted industrial crops that could change the US’s economy. This post identifies the difference between hemp and marijuana, its effects on the growth of the rural US economy, and the benefits of hemp to diverse industries.

What Is the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana?

Congress defined the difference by passing a law called the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, or the Farm Bill. That law stopped the prohibition of the cultivation of Hemp on a wide scale. The Act defined Hemp as part of the cannabis plant having fewer than 0.3% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Hemp, like its infamous partner marijuana, is derived from the cannabis plant. The difference between the two products is (THC). Indeed, it is the THC in the weed that produces the feeling of being “high” when you smoke it. The good news is that Hemp contains a tiny fraction of THC, so you must smoke a quantity that is the size of a Telephone post to become “high” from it.

But that is not the case with marijuana, which contains psychoactive compounds and is rightly placed in the same category as Heroin and LSD. Now that the government has separated hemp from marijuana, rural farmers can cultivate it legally on a large scale.

Effects of the Cultivation of Hemp on the Growth of the Rural US Economy

The Hemp’s Crop report of 2017 showed 23,000 acres of Hemp, which increased to 77,000 acres in 2018. The new law provides the proper basis for growing it; hence, more local farmers joined the trend in 2019 to substantially extend its cultivation.

Many country farmers left crops like tobacco, corn, and alfalfa for hemp farming, which they claimed was more profitable. The largest farmers of hemp in the US are in Colorado, leading other states in the advanced industrial hemp program since 2014.

Also, the state recently sent its opinion to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the interim rule concerning the creation of a domestic Hemp production program in Colorado. It is asked for a more sustainable control arrangement that would support the hemp industry and provide more opportunities for agricultural producers in Colorado. USDA will give a final ruling on that plan in 2021.

The Benefits of Hemp to Diverse Industries in the US

This cash crop could improve the US economy through industrial-scale production. Manufacturers use Hemp in more than 25,000 products ranging from textiles, rope, food, beauty products, automotive parts, furniture, and construction. As a matter of fact, Hemp is the raw material for many products in the health and wellness industry. It is used for stopping anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, and many illnesses because it contains cannabidiol or CBD.

CBD oil business is the fad on the internet, and due to the massive demand for CBD products, which cannot be fully met by the market, the industry could hit billions of US dollars. Also, because Hemp farming is new, there are no mechanical tools to harvest it, making that work very challenging. This will provide jobs in the manufacturing of harvesting tools, employ more farmworkers, and influence new hemp products.

Other sectors like accounting, law compliance officers, lawyers, and top management tier will have more jobs from hemp cultivation.