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The legal hemp industry is growing fast. But is it growing too fast for its own good?
People are hopping onto the legal hemp train. The industry is growing fast, and is more than likely going to surpass the few legal cannabis industries in the United States within a few years in terms of revenue.
While the US federally legalized industrial hemp at the end of 2018 with the help of the Farm Bill, the rest of the world is slowly starting to catch up, with multiple countries in the European Union updating their hemp laws as well.
The states have had their fair share of problems getting the legal hemp industry off the ground only three months into 2019, with multiple arrests in Oklahoma and Idaho due to local law enforcement not being notified of hemp being transported through the state. But figuring out the right way to navigate this new industry isn’t so black and white.
Should the hemp industry be regulated like the cannabis industry?
It’s challenging to say for sure. Hemp can serve many purposes that regular, high-THC cannabis cannot, and vice versa. But measuring the levels of THC content in both hemp and THC-heavy cannabis with the same standards can make the transition between industries much simpler.
However just like individual states have different laws regarding their legal cannabis industries, states can also establish their own hemp laws, as long as they don’t go against the federal law. Now that the legal hemp industry is going to allow interstate commerce, problems will inevitably arise when states have differing hemp laws while still sharing a border.
Where is the legal hemp industry headed?
Right now, a lot of people are using cannabis advertising methods for hemp products. To Hollis Carter, part of what makes hemp cool is that it is hemp, something different from your regular THC-rich cannabis.
There is a growing rise in smokeable hemp flower products, like Hollis’ Lefty’s Hemp Co. and others. For others trying to get involved, regulations might pose a serious problem.
While there is a growing desire for quality, smokeable hemp flower, many fail to meet the .3% THC requirement currently. On top of that, the market is currently very saturated.
A lot of people are trying to get involved, with many already getting weeded out (pun intended) for poor business practices or low quality products.
With a new legal industry that will make it much easier for entrepreneurs and other companies to invest their capital safely, there is a lot of room for innovation and infrastructure that will bring in a lot of businesses one might not originally have considered.
From hempcrete to hemp clothing, and the ancillary businesses that will be integral to the production of these commodities, there’s a lot more opportunity in the legal hemp industry than you might think!
The Real Dirt Hempisodes
With all that in mind, we bring you The Real Dirt Hempisodes! Over the next few weeks, The Real Dirt is diving into the legal hemp industry.
This week Chip talks with Graham Carlson of Charlotte’s Web, the very first CBD flower producers and creator of Charlotte’s Web CBD tincture, along with Mike Leago of the International Hemp Exchange and Hollis Carter of Lefty’s Hemp Co. about some issues with the legal hemp industry, how it compares to the legal cannabis industry, and how it can be changed for a more productive industry overall.
Roll one up and enjoy the first Hempisode, and tune in next week for Part 2 in the Hempisode series.