Hemp Notebook: Marijuana-style red tape coming for hemp industry

Hemp regulations, Hemp Notebook: Marijuana-style red tape coming for hemp industry

(This is an abridged version of a column that appears in the July issue of Marijuana Business Magazine.)

Hemp may be totally different than marijuana. But the red tape that plagues the marijuana industry is coming for hemp anyway.

That’s why the hemp industry should keep an eye on what is happening in Oregon.

Oregon has slowly added marijuana-style oversight to its booming hemp industry. The goal is to put hemp through the same testing and traceability requirements faced by high-THC marijuana.

It seems like a reasonable change. But the additional Oregon oversight strikes at the core of hemp’s identity crisis: When is hemp like marijuana, and when is it not?

They’re both the same plant, cannabis sativa L., and both can be smoked or eaten and used for medical reasons.

The only difference is the THC content.

The hemp industry has fewer legal limits, and that’s a big reason the hemp side of cannabis is booming.

Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, standard-bearer of the GOP and a deep-red Kentuckian, says hemp should be legal everywhere and face none of the legal barriers placed upon marijuana.

But regulations unfolding far from Congress are putting that narrative in doubt.

Click here to read more about marijuana-style regulations coming to the hemp industry.