Newly legalized hemp industry set to create a jobs boom in the US

 

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  • A provision in the 2018 Farm Bill makes hemp, marijuana’s no-buzz cousin, no longer a federally illegal substance.
  • It allows farmers and other cultivators to grow the leafy, lanky plant and sell its harvest to processors so they can make hemp-based products ranging from foods, beverages and cosmetics to paper, clothing and building materials.
  • Twenty-four states have hemp farming.
  • CareerBuilder, Indeed, ZipRecruiter and other mainstream job websites list hemp openings.

It won’t get you high, but lots of people are high on hemp. Thanks to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill last December, hemp — marijuana’s no-buzz cousin — is no longer a federally illegal controlled substance. A provision in the bill allows farmers and other cultivators to grow the leafy, lanky plant, cannabis sativa L, and sell its harvest to processors, who in turn extract and market raw materials to producers of hemp-based products, everything from foods, beverages and cosmetics to paper, clothing and building materials.

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The Race to Re-Learn Hemp Farming

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Angela Post wasn’t supposed to study hemp. The North Carolina State agriculture researcher focuses on small grains like wheat and barley. But after the 2014 Farm Bill allowed states to investigate hemp, it became clear the seeds were lucrative. Post had the right equipment to study them, so the job was hers.

The bill legalizes the crop, allowing any farmer to grow it — whether or not they know how.

At first, Post thought hemp would get as much attention as the other alternative crops she and her colleagues dabble in. “We didn’t know how fast it would grow,” she says. Once the work garnered the attention of hundreds of would-be hemp farmers, “that’s when we got a sense it was something bigger than anticipated.”

Since then, Post’s work has expanded beyond hemp seeds — and her expertise — to fiber and flowers, which contain cannabidiol, or CBD, which is extracted for use in seizure medications and over-the-counter tinctures. But there’s no turning down hemp studies if you’re an agricultural researcher in one of the states where residents might want to grow the crop, including North Carolina, Vermont, and Kentucky.

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Merry Christmas: Hemp and Hemp-Based CBD Are Now Legal

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This has been a transformational year for the cannabis industry, one that investors will possibly never forget. Although it’s been a bit rough on the investment front, with the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF, a basket of more than four dozen pot stocks, losing approximately 40% of its value, 2018 has been a year of gained validity for the cannabis industry.

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Industrial Hemp is Now Included in the 2018 Farm Bill

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In a move that marks a major shift in U.S. agriculture and drug policy, House and Senate lawmakers have come to an agreement over the status of industrial hemp in H.R. 2, The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. Known as the 2018 Farm Bill, H.R. 2 includes far-reaching provisions that lift the ban on hemp, authorize hemp production and research and amend the Controlled Substances Act. Furthermore, the reconciled version of the Farm Bill paves the way for the federal regulation of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) extracts. For hemp CBD consumers, that would mean both better product consistency and quality and an end to the legal ambiguity of hemp CBD.

Illinois Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Industrial Hemp

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Gov. Bruce Rauner on Saturday signed a bill legalizing industrial hemp, adding Illinois to a growing list of states that allow the growth of cannabis for non-drug purposes.

“Legalizing the farming of industrial hemp just makes good sense,” Rauner said in a statement. “Roughly 38 states — including our neighbors in Wisconsin, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri and Tennessee — have allowed or are considering allowing cultivation of this crop for commercial, research or pilot programs. Our farmers should have this option as well.”

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Advocates Push to Legalize Hemp Farming in Texas

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Texas hemp advocates want to see fields of green on farms across the state —  and they’re rallying lawmakers to make it happen.

A group of hemp advocates testified Tuesday before the Texas House Agriculture and Livestock Committee about the jobs and economic opportunities that are possible if the state allows Texas farmers to grow the crop. Hemp is a variety of the cannabis plant but has low or untraceable amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the psychoactive compound that gives marijuana users a high.

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