Industrial hemp is no longer considered a “controlled substance” under the Farm Bill signed into law in December. That means farmers across the country can “produce a high-value cash crop while retaining federal farm program benefits that were previously not allowed.”
There has long been confusion between hemp and its sister marijuana. They’re both varieties of cannabis, but are genetically different from each other.
Marijuana contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – which is the psychoactive ingredient that gets people high when they smoke or ingest it.
Hemp – the type made legal by the farm bill – must contain less than 0.3 percent of THC. Most marijuana has 42 times that amount.
So what’s the uproar over hemp anyway?
Hemp is the strongest natural fiber of any source.
Hemp can grow anywhere in the world, in many types of soil – even in short growing seasons or in dry regions. (It can even purify soil as well as kill some times of weeds.)
Hemp can grow without pesticides, is suitable for rotation use due to its short harvest cycle (120 days).
Hemp is a high-yield crop.
It’s a crop that offers Mississippi farmers a way to get a piece of the industry that is expected to increase 2,500% in three years – $22 billion!
What is hemp good for? Check out this infographic from Canada Hemp Foods: