As the United States of America struggles to reflourish its declining farm economy, there may be a new crop to aid that process. Within the last decade, the USA’s farming community has declined due to various reasons, such as lack of workers, land depletion, climate change, or no desire from the new generation. But there is a new crop in town…called hemp. Hemp – an industrial variation of the cannabis plant – is utilized to make over 25,000 different products, most of which are more environmentally friendly than the alternative. Commonly, you can find it in products, such as clothing, shoes, diapers, rope, canvas, cellophane, paints, fuel, chain lubricants, biodegradable plastics, paper, food, and soap. Like many that may read this, I did not know hemp was in these many products.
Since 10,000 plus years ago, hemp is one of the strongest and longest natural fibers known and used by man. Despite being a variation of the cannabis plant, hemp has different characteristics that make it unique. Granted, hemp and its by-product do have minute amounts of THC, less than 0.3%, compared to marijuana, ranging from 0.3 to 4.0% of THC. Some specialty grown marijuana plants can reach as high as 25% in THC levels. When you are determining the potency of a marijuana plant, there are essential elements that you should consider, such as the growing climates and conditions, plant genetics, harvesting and processing, and desire by small growers to maximize profit. But with hemp, its genetics are different and more valuable. This is why Texas, along with 40 other states, is seeing the economic potential for hemp production. Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, signed House Bill 1325 which legalized not only the cultivation but also the processing of industrial hemp in the state of Texas. This is imperative for farmers in the United States.
Previously on the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp was labeled as a Schedule I Substance – drugs, substances, or chemicals, defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse (heroin, LSD, and marijuana) – but after federal changes, it is no longer labeled that way. By doing so, it allows collaboration between the farmers and various states to produce state-run programs. This opportunity provides rural communities the chance to gain a viable crop that’s in global demand.
Personally, as a member of the agriculture community, this is a good strategy for the future of agriculture. The advantages for farmers, especially in Texas, are extremely profitable. A few requirements for hemp production deals with the soil and climate. Hemp production needs soil with pH levels 6 or higher, and Texas soil pH levels average 6.8 to 7.2. It also is a weed suppressor which allows the minimum to no use of pesticides to control the weeds. This natural method aids in the restoration of our depleted and degraded soil, which is why it is a “mop” crop. The production helps reduce the harmful waste that enters our deltas and rivers then ultimately leads to our oceans. Besides, being profitable globally, hemp production establishes and improves our environment.
If you have questions about hemp or other farming industry questions, a business lawyer in Dallas, TX can get you answers. Reach out to a law office today.
Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into business law and hemp.