With the word coming down the pike last year about the production of hemp to become legal again in the United States, the struggling American hemp farmers felt as if they just received a stay of execution.
This means that they will not have to nickel and dime themselves by dedicating their exclusive land to traditional crops like wheat and corn. They might also be able to stay in the agriculture field for longer without having to deal with pasture crops.
Cannabis supporters have been preaching from the past few decades about the potentials of industrial hemp in saving the economy of the country. Moreover, this depends on whether the country is willing to accept hemp as a sustainable alternative to substances like cotton, fossil fuels, and cotton.
Mitch McConnel, a Senate Majority leader, and a federal lawmaker, fought against legalizing cannabis since the 1980s and saw the hemp potential first hand while exploring various facilities involved with the pilot program in Kentucky, his home state. Noticing the benefits that hemp could provide the average American farmers and consumers, McConnel took charge of the pressing issue on Capitol Hill during the last year. McConnel was determined to ensure that industrial hemp would become one of the plows and pick collection for the farming community. And he got successful in his plan.
So, now that the production of hemp is legal under the 2018 Farm bill, more and more jurisdictions in the countries are accepting it. As of now, 34 states of the United States have made the production of hemp legal for the farmers since the legislation is signed into law by President Trump.
So, this means that the country is happily accepting the decision to hold down the prohibition of hemp production.
Although the hemp market is predicted to cross the $26 billion mark within the upcoming six years, farmers are not living the high life. There are many challenges and uncertainties in the agricultural sector that are to be sorted off before the crop could take off just like the supporters have predicted it to. However, one thing that is certain in the hemp industry is that only the strong or at least those with better resources will survive. Here are some of the most prevalent issues that hemp farmers have been facing since the crop was legalized.
Hemp Production Generates Poor First Year Yield
The farmers of industrial hemp have accepted this decision of legalizing hemp and regarded this as a sweet spot. But, the poor first-year yields of hemp production have made it difficult for the farmers to be profitable. Due to the delayed planting schedule and heavy rainfall, there is a situation where the initial harvesting of the hemp is looking to be miserable. And, this will certainly make a huge impact on the profits.
The Indiana hemp farmers stated that the plants didn’t grow much taller. Moreover, they never canopied the fields, and this has also led to weed problems for the crop.
Reports might have shown that the production of hemp may bring between $40,000 to $50,000 per acre, in comparison to corn, which is just generating $1000 per acre; the farmers still do not believe that the first harvest of the hemp will bring in any profit for them.
Hemp Farming is mostly done with Hands
Hemp farming may bring big money into the farming community, but for this, they will have to put a huge effort into it. Hemp farming is a laborious task, especially when the farmers are not equipped with the necessary equipment to complete the process from seeding to harvesting efficiently. Although some of the hemp farmers may have been able to use modern equipment and machinery to farm hemp, others may have to invest thousands of dollars to purchase new retrofits and equipment. Moreover, as only certain types of plants need to be seeded into the ground, a lot of work needs to be done with the hands by the farmers for the seedling. Someone will have to it do this work, however dirty it may be.
Back during the time of original Rockstar cropping in the United States, slaves used to work in the hemp fields only because no one, especially white men, wanted to do anything related to it. The book “A history if the Hemp Industry in Kentucky” clearly indicated that slavery only flourished in the Bluegrass State because of Hemp. Let’s hope that things go the other way around this time.
Seeds of Hemp being Sold for CBD rich Plants is a Rip-off
There is a shortage of hemp seeds that can be used for producing high CBD yield plants. Many of the hemp farmers who have just started hemp businesses are focusing on capitalizing on the emerging case of CBD. But, for this, any old hemp will not solve the purpose. Farmers interested in producing hemp for selling it to the CBD processors will require only female plants. Many of the hemp farmers are getting ripped off due to the fact that hemp seeds they purchased recently are male plants of hemp. For the farmers who are expecting to sell their plants for CBD, these plants are completely worthless. Now, they won’t be able to sell their crops to the CBD processors, resulting in huge losses.
However, analysts have predicted that by the year 2023, the industrial hemp market could be worth $22 billion.
Thieves are stealing Hemp mistaking it as Marijuana
As marijuana and hemp are similar in odor and appearance, thieves have been mistaking it into marijuana and sneaking into the hemp fields and stealing the crops with enthusiasm. Many farmers in New York have complained about the lost crop because the pot seeking thieves have been stealing it every night.
Apparently, thieves have been mistakenly stealing hemp plants, and the problem is worsening with time, as reported by the hemp farmers. The stealing of hemp started with 20 plants and then slowly escalated to 100 plants. Moreover, in the beginning, such incidents happened just once a week, but it has now escalated to every night. These plants are completely useless to them, and they can smoke as much as they can without getting the ‘high’ they are looking for.
The farmers also fear that this significant loss of crops even before reaching the harvesting time could badly cripple them before they even start. The problem of theft is forcing the farmers to either assemble an independent team or invest in increased security to keep a look at their crop.
A farmer in New York reported that he is in big problem as he is sleep deprived because of spending countless nights watching out for his property. He said his family had spent many nights for the same reason.
Along with this, the hemp farmers are facing challenges with crop insurance, banking, and a shortage of sufficient pesticides and herbicides. In other words, it will be some time before the hemp production can get back to normal in the United States, and the farmers can enjoy farming without any issues. Moreover, considering the duration for which the crop was out of circulation, the country may never see a rise in the hemp production like expected.
How can hemp push the European Economy forward?
Industrial hemp can play an important role in the economic revival as the European countries are taking on the economic challenges in the coming years. Citing the huge potential of the European Hemp industry in speeding up the transition towards an environmentally sustainable economy, European Industrial Hemp Association’s (EIHA) hemp strategy emphasizes on hemp’s contribution towards economic sustainability in the rural development.
The economy of the rural areas could be impacted positively, considering the potential for the use of the whole hemp plant. EIHA wants European Union policymakers to see hemp as a potential catalyst for reviving rural areas following the economic downturn.
How could Hemp benefit the Economy?
EIHA, in a manifesto, said the industrial hemp could deliver long-term sustainable growth and create many job opportunities across the European Union rural economies, while the whole world is trying to navigate the road to the revival of the economy.
EIHA believes that the hemp could be Europe’s catalyst for the recovery of the sulking economy. During the hard times, after the pandemic outbreak, industrial hemp has the potential to save the European economy in the rural areas.
As the hemp industry is implementing sustainable approaches towards hemp agriculture and focusing on multiple applications like food and manufactured products, the hemp industry can help the economies of rural areas to recover, according to the EIHA.
The Proposed Manifesto of EIHA
The manifesto by EIHA offers 10 proposals for the European Union policymakers and lawmakers to consider:
- The policies should promote the usage of hemp in animal feeds, manufactured products, and food. Besides, these policies should focus on financing the development of sustainable value chains. The hemp operators should be permitted to register protected destinations of origin, as well as geographical indications.
- The hemp’s contribution to the environment should be recognized, and the hemp used for carbon farming needs to be encouraged. The farmers should be provided with compensation for positive environmental externalities, possibly with a new or existing emission-trading scheme. To leverage the investment, the companies which develop or implement clean products or technologies should be rewarded with incentives.
- The member states of the EU should not apply the drug control legislation to hemp and hemp-derived products as long as the THC content limits are respected. Products derived from hemp are not drugs, and they do not have the potential to relieve pain, nor are they narcotic as they do not have the potential to abuse, create dependence, or misuse.
- The maximum level of THC allowed should be restored to 0.3%. This will allow the hemp industry to align with international standards and start breeding more adaptive varieties to satisfy the farmers’ practices and consumer trends.
- The hemp operators should be allowed to harvest and produce from all parts of the plant, including seeds, leaves, and flowers. They should also be allowed to market any kind of product while maintaining the THC content within limits. The real added value of hemp is the possibility to be used as a whole plant. However, many EU countries are still forbidding the use and marketing of flowers and leaves. By giving the permissions to market the whole plant, plant wastage will be reduced and will help maximize the profitability, resulting in higher income for farmers and operators along the value chain.
- Hemp and its preparations containing naturally-occurring cannabinoid content should not be considered as a novel food. Records show that the hemp flowers, leaves, and hemp extracts that are naturally rich in cannabinoids were consumed widely until 1977. Hemp has been an integral part of the human diet for many years. There is no health-based justification for reducing consumer’s access to hemp products.
- Reasonable guidance values for THC in food and animal feed should be established. The risk evaluation by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) on THC intake through hemp-based foods does not meet scientific standards. The current BfR guidance and EFSA recommendation values for THC in food are unnecessarily strict, outdated, and should be urgently revised based on scientific evaluations. This evaluation will create fair competitive opportunities for the European hemp industry.
- All hemp-derived raw materials must be permitted as an ingredient for cosmetics production. The EU Commission takes some of the hemp-derived products used in cosmetics as falling under narcotic control measures. While hemp is not narcotic, the cosmetic ingredients should be changed accordingly to permit the use of hemp-based products. There is no reason to limit the use of natural cannabinoids in cosmetics while authorizing synthetic cannabidiol. There has been no health risk derived from the use of these ingredients.
- EU should promote and value the use of hemp fiber to produce long and short fibers for textiles. It should favor the establishment of sustainable value chains. European countries have replaced the use of natural fibers with more affordable synthetic fibers during the past few decades. This led to the shutting down of almost all the hemp fiber-processing companies. EU should promote the production of fiber to rebuild the value chain and should avoid delocalization. The transformation of fiber should be incentivized through financial aid, and the hemp operators must be provided with professional training for the same.
- The use of hemp-based building materials, like hempcrete, should be incentivized both in private and public sectors, with clear goals for partial or total substitution of less sustainable alternatives. The EU should impose strict requirements in public procurement and set goals to achieve zero-emission in the EU and national administrations. The operators and consumers should receive economic benefits for using hemp-based sustainable building material alternatives.
The manifesto by EIHA is focused on promoting hemp and hemp-based products to revamp the economy in these challenging times. The manifesto also demands the removal of restrictions and many hemp-friendly measures. This includes limiting the content of THC to 0.3% in seeds, which would allow the farmers to compete with international standard.
Herb: Explore the Superb Collection of Cannabis Products
Herb is one of the top-notch cannabis brands in the USA and is transforming the way cannabis products are seen. The debate surrounding cannabis is endless, yet herb has become one of the major benefactors of CBD products in the USA. With its natural, efficient, and environment friendly collection of cannabis products, it can be named “the paradises of cannabis”.
From original cannabis flowers to CBD capsules, the firm provides all sorts of cannabis products. Even the recipes available on their site are scrumptious enough to make your meals special and rejuvenating.
So, how did this paradise of CBD came to existence? Let’s dive into its past:
Founded in 2014 by Matt Gray, Herb is all about eradicating the speculation surrounding cannabis. Back then it was impossible to find any cannabis recipe other than weed brownie. Being a cannabis fan, Matt began his search for new recipes.
The work started in his garage. In the beginning, it was just a place for finding great recipes, but people wanted more. Consumers often complained about not getting the right ingredients to complete the recipes. To meet the demand Matt established “Herb” and within a few years, it was the favorite destination of cannabis lovers.
Matt believed that cannabis was sinking under the cultural and historical disbelief, and it was time people start benefiting from it. He believes that cannabis can change a million lives with its therapeutic nature.
Herb has helped put the scare behind cannabis to the ground and simplified the process of finding the right product. With more than 14 million consumers, the company is putting the myths associated with Cannabis to bed. The very proof of the fact is – the 265 million viewers available for their videos. Right now, the company is aiming to provide cannabis anywhere in the world within 15 minutes.
Looking for Cannabis induced supplements and pills to put an end to your daily woes? One of the best places to get 100% natural and tested cannabis product is herb.co. The website opens with a beautiful quote “Herb is Cannabis for You, near you.” Roll down to see a variety of cannabis products including CBD oil, THC Oil Sativa drops CBD capsules, pre-rolls, vape pens, and even fresh cannabis flowers.
Rest assured the company provides only naturally grown and environment-friendly cannabis products. Obtain it in any form and you won’t have to worry about its efficiency and originality.
Such vast array of CBD products have helped meet consumers’ demand. One can also get regular updates about cannabis and the laws related to it right at the websites. The information mentioned there has been helping people understand the existing laws and their particular rights.
Hemp in Europe, France, Germany
Hemp cultivation in Europe dates back hundreds of years, and it is estimated that 25% of the world’s hemp is grown in this region. France alone accounts for 40% production in Europe, and there are twenty additional countries that are known for hemp production in bulk. Over the past few years, the hemp cultivation has boosted, and both the consumers and producers are interested in utilizing these resources.
Over time, Europe has seen a sudden growth in the processing infrastructure, and they have finished a good industry where hemp fibers are produced for industrial applications. Hemp can be utilized in paper and pulp industry and is also used in biocomposites, which are used in the automotive industry and for making insulation material. The fiber extraction processes also make use have several commercial uses such as for animal bedding and in the construction industry as well, especially for insulation.
It is has been observed that the last few years have seen an increase in the overall cultivation, and there has been a growth in the seeds and flowers that are grown in the various regions around Europe. Also, the applications of the hemp components are such that it is highly useful. In a study conducted by the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA), it was found that Europe produced 11,500 tonnes of seeds in 2015 and imported around 10000 metric tones from China.
In the earlier decades, the hemp seeds were primarily used as animal feed for fishes and birds. EIHA has estimated that around 60% of this crop is used as human food, and the rest 40% for feeding animals. This particular shift is going to continue in Europe as people become more aware of the application of hemp and the amount of omega fatty acid that it holds. Over the last four years, there has been a sudden increase in the harvest of hemp flowers and leaves for food and medical application, which are basically meant for CBD applications.
With the hemp cultivation kicking in, the CBD sales have also increased in some of the European countries despite of the confusion that is prevailing in the European Food Safety Authority. Most of the countries such as the UK and Italy have stopped enforcing guidelines on the CBD production, whereas some others, such as Austria, Spain, and France, have brought down the CBD sales over the course of time.
You will notice that the CBD products have been widely distributed across Europe – right from the vape stores, tobacco shops as well the supplement in the UK, especially in Barrett and Holland. You can also find the CBD material in the supermarkets, with online retailers, as well as the medical stores. However, there has been a restriction on the use of CBD across various countries, and there is a possibility that it might hamper the growth of the hemp plant in several countries. In areas such as Germany and Romania, it is easy to harvest the plant. Moreover, in areas such as the UK, France, and the Netherlands, it is easy to grow seeds and fibers. In recent times, the production of the hemp seeds has gone down to a significant extent, and it is important to build up an industry that is quite strong and diverse when it comes to the growth of hemp seeds.
As hemp is one of the best sources for CBD, it can be extracted for use in a wide variety of food supplements such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. As you know, CBD is legal cannabis, its market in Europe is targeted towards the medical consumers, and the consumption of the same is meant for those who want to invest in cosmetics, food supplements, and pharmaceuticals. The legal cannabis market is infused with products that are meant for recreation activities. According to recent research, it was found that the European market is going to make around 450 million out of the CBD market, and after that, North America will have a market share of 40%. Europe is surely going to reign in the cannabis market and will have a profound impact on the CBD market. In Switzerland, the sale of CBD is permitted along with the consumption of legal and recreational CBD, which has high THC content. CBD is also available for use in the tobacco shops.
Hemp cultivation in Europe surely has a bright future as more and more people are opting for it due to the multiple benefits that it has to offer and the cure that it provides against a lot of issues.