There is a lot of hype about how the legalization of marijuana will solve the worlds problems. However, while it is a step in the right direction, hemp is better suited for the job. Hemp was cultivated for thousands of years before marijuana became popular, and it can be used in more ways than just making a cheap joint.
Hemp is the oldest crop in human history, and it has hundreds of uses. The hemp industry was hit hard when the Drug Enforcement Administration reclassified the crop as a Schedule I substance in the 1970s. Twenty years later, the 2014 Farm Bill legalized hemp in states that have passed industrial hemp laws, lifting a decades-long ban on American farmers growing the crop.
Hemp is legal again. Congress should make it easier to farm. Hemp is a plant that will never get you high. But it is being used for everything from food and bio-fuel to textiles and high performance cars.. Read more about federal hemp laws 2021 and let us know what you think.
In 2013, a refugee bear escaping a neighboring wildfire climbed my goat-corral fence and slaughtered half of the herd in front of our eyes, making climate change personal for my family. Natalie Merchant, Bette Midler, and Stevie Nicks were milk suppliers, yoga partners, and friends who died that day (we name our goats after singers we like). Taylor Swift, the baby, made it inside and slept with my human children for a time.
I’ve been actively sequestering carbon since that day, attempting to decrease carbon miles by eating and shopping locally, avoiding petroleum-based plastics in favor of biodegradable items, and advancing both of these objectives by growing hemp and milking goats. My day job is farming so that my grandchildren will inherit a livable world.
It’s not just me, either. By producing a superfood, health, and fiber crop whose roots also help trap a lot of carbon, America’s 21,496 hemp farmers are buying mankind some time. At our Funky Butte Ranch in New Mexico, I grow a small field of it, experimenting with different cultivars, giving some to other farmers and researchers, and consuming some. On a broader scale, I’m a member of a team that’s helping a Rosebud Sioux tribal business that’s producing organic hemp on 125 acres.
More hemp land is better for everyone.
After 80 years as a prohibited drug, Congress returned hemp, a low-THC member of the cannabis family, to full legalization in 2018. (THC is the psychotropic ingredient in marijuana.) The commercial crop has reached a billion-dollar value in the three years after its relegalization.
There are two reasons to commemorate this occasion: A profitable crop may help ailing agricultural economies. Hemp is also a rising star in the field of regenerative agriculture.
Hemp’s large taproots are simply amazing at generating the circumstances that develop soil’s carbon capture characteristics, whether as a cash crop or a cover crop. According to a University of South Carolina research, cover crops in rotation with conventional crops may store an average of 425 to 1,584 pounds of atmospheric carbon per acre each year.
Hemp cleans soils of pollutants along the way. I’m pleased to announce that uranium absorption from contaminated mining soil planted with a hemp variety that I’ve been cultivating for five seasons has been successful, according to researchers at New Mexico State University. Aside from your support, those of us who grow hemp have one request: Please speak out and help us alter the government guidelines for the amount of THC allowed in commercial hemp.
Hemp’s THC level was established at 0.3 percent in the 2018 relegalization legislation. (Psychoactive cannabis generally has at least 15%, if not more, of THC.) Between 20% and 30% of the hemp crop has tested moderately “hot” – over the 0.3 percent threshold — for a variety of reasons, including local soil conditions. Almost majority of the tests come in below the still-low threshold of 1% THC, but any positive result means the crop, as well as the farmer’s income, may be destroyed.
The 0.3 percent threshold is both arbitrary and impractical. THC is absent from the majority of a hemp plant’s important structures, including the seed, fiber, and roots. THC is detected in the flowers, however increasing the THC level for hemp to 1% will not make it psychoactive. To get high, no one smokes 1 percent flower.
Hemp is probably the last crop that a sensible society would prohibit in any manner from a policy standpoint. It was grown as an important crop all the way back to the founders until it was banned in the 1930s. At Mount Vernon, George Washington cultivated hemp. Hemp was used to release the parachute that George H.W. Bush used to escape his burning aircraft during World War II.
Textiles, ink, paper, building materials, and biodegradable plastics are all produced from commercial hemp fiber. The flowers are used in sleep aids and pain medicines since they are rich in cannabinoids like CBD and CBG but low in THC. Hemp seeds may be consumed whole or dehulled, or ground into oil. My goats like the hemp meal left over after oil extraction.
I use the seeds in yogurt and smoothies every day since they’re a good source of all three Omega fatty acids, high in protein, and mineral-rich. According to preliminary findings from a research conducted by Qing X. Li of the University of Hawaii, a diet rich in hemp seeds may even help people limit the growth of fat cells. In other words, hemp may be able to aid in the reversal of the obesity epidemic.
Currently, there are approximately 500,000 acres of hemp-growing land licensed throughout the United States. However, compare that to 89 million acres of maize. There’s plenty of potential for expansion, particularly if we can make hemp as risk-free as other crops for farmers.
Switzerland, Ecuador, and Thailand are among the countries that have accepted the 1% “definition” of hemp. The National Farmer’s Union and the Agricultural Bureau, two prominent farm advocacy organizations in the United States, are in support of the move. You may also lend a hand by signing the Vote Hemp website’s online petition (Vote Hemp is an advocacy group). A phone call to your congressman and senators is also a good idea.
In the interim, please support local farmer-owned businesses, particularly organic ones, when purchasing hemp seed, fiber, or flower goods. You’ll be supporting sustainable rural communities and agriculture while also assisting in the fight against climate change.
My fingers are filthy with carbon-sequestering soil as I walk in from my own hemp crop. As I checked on the crop, pollinators were diving bombing me. Let me tell you, avoiding butterflies in a fragrant hemp field is probably the greatest fun you can have working in a multitasking existence.
And there’s another benefit: now that the seeds on the Funky Butte Ranch hemp crop are developing, I enjoy knowing that, whatever happens, both my human and goat kids will be eating high-protein superfood this winter.
The long-awaited official end to the federal prohibition of marijuana has been a long time coming, but the plant is now officially legal in the entire nation for the first time in over 80 years. Now that the plant is legal, the nation should give a helping hand to start small-scale hemp farming, which has been a thriving industry in most states for years.. Read more about is hemp federally legal and let us know what you think.
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