It is expected that President Obama will soon sign into law a provision in the Farm Bill that will prevent federal authorities from targeting those growing industrial hemp in states that have legalized hemp cultivation. The states that have legalized hemp production are Oregon, California, Kentucky, Vermont, Montana, West Virginia, North Dakota, Maine, and of course our great home state of Colorado!
Those that are expected to benefit from this provision are farmers, higher-education institutions, and those that research hemp that reside in the above mentioned states.
Currently, most hemp that is found in products here in the U.S. has been grown out of the country. Hemp is a versatile plant that is often found in “green” products, from natural lotions and lip balms, to organic textiles and clothing. It contains trace amounts of THC, which is why it is still considered a controlled substance in the United States; but with the nation changing its attitude towards cannabis, there is little doubt that industrial hemp will soon be following suit.
So what does this mean for us? A growing hemp industry could mean job growth and even larger tax revenue from hemp cultivation. Think of all the ways we can use hemp, and how awesome it is for the environment! Instead of cutting down trees, we could be growing hemp to make paper. Not a fan of synthetic fabrics in your clothing? A more eco-friendly alternative would be buying a locally-grown hemp shirt. Here’s to moving forward to an even greener Colorado!