In the last decade, industrial hemp has become a hot commodity amongst consumers. Forbes and The Wall Street Journal believe the industry is currently on pace to bring in nearly $220 billion by the end of 2030. Naturally, industrial hemp is a fundamental component to meeting the aforementioned expectations. With nearly 100 million consumers interacting with the industry daily, you can rest assured industrial hemp is getting its due respect. However, it was not always as easy for industrial hemp like it is in 2020. In fact, it used to be outright illegal. Here’s how industrial hemp has become a cog in the engine of success for the industry thus far.
The history of hemp
Hemp has been utilized for its industrial properties for quite some time. Hemp was identified as early as 3000 B.C. Emperor Fu Hsi is often credited for introducing the medicinal purposes of hemp to his people. Hemp (referred to as ‘Ma” during this period) was employed as a medicated tea. The tea method is still popular today. There is also an indication of hemp being used by Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt for clothing and textiles. Many historians believe that the Egyptians originated from hemp-based paper and hemp-based clothing. The prevalence of hemp during these periods grew widespread into the centuries to come.
Additionally, Hemp is one of the oldest symbols of industrialization. During the Sung Dynasty of 500 AD, there is a reference to the Emperor known as Shen Nung, who practiced hemp cultivation with his citizens. The teachings were of the first occurrences of hemp being cultivated for cloth. It is also believed that hemp made its way to European countries about 1,200 BC.
What is industrial hemp?
Industrial hemp is the term given to hemp buds containing less than 0.3% psychoactive compounds. Naturally, this means that industrial hemp is non-psychoactive. Furthermore, industrial hemp contains other healthy, non-psychoactive, and holistic compounds. These qualities make industrial hemp an excellent natural supplement.
The political climate of industrial hemp
Under the legislation set by the 2014 Farm Bill, farmers have been granted the ability to grow crops for limited hemp research initiatives. Due to a new adaptation of the overwhelming agriculture legislation passed and signed into law during the 2018 legislative term, industrial hemp is legal under federal law. Nevertheless, farmers must comply with the bureaucratic red tape outlined by the state they operate their hemp farms in.
In 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that farmers planning to cultivate hemp would be eligible for federal crop insurance.’ Thanks to the SAFE Banking Act, updated banking laws give hemp farmers a ton more breathing room. The popularity of hemp and hemp-derived products is once again among us. Similar to the 1960s, consumers are turning to industrial hemp.
Industrial hemp’s market potential
As of 2021, farmers operating in the United States have been licensed to cultivate roughly ¾ of a million acres of Hemp. This figure is a 500% surge than the years of hemp cultivation prior.
Since the passing of the updated 2018 Farm Bill, a total of over 17,000 state licenses to cultivate hemp industrially via hemp were issued to farmers as well as researchers during 2019. This is a 470 % increase compared to 2018.
Further, there was a 500% annual spike in hemp processing licenses issued last year. Summarily, the hemp side of the hemp industry is multiplying. Some economists believe hemp can become a standalone market. This is due to its mass legality and the market appeal associated with organic and healthy lifestyles. Hemp is a more durable textile that has yet to be duplicated.
Hemp is just better.