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.

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5 comments on “Hemp Notebook: Marijuana-style red tape coming for hemp industry
  1. Lawrence Goodwin on

    It’s easy to understand the difference between “hemp” and “marihuana” (the very deceptive legal term shoved down our throats for 81 years by federal tyrants, who spelled that word exactly as its creators had pronounced it in Mexican Spanish). We simply need to maintain a laser-like focus on both the male and female flowers of cannabis plants.

    In scientific terms, most plants are “monoecious,” which means they produce their own seeds—usually after the flower stage—for survival of the species. Cannabis plants are among the “dioecious” species (similar to most fruit plants/trees), having male and female flower types borne on separate plants. The male flowers pollinate the females, so that—in a normal outdoor growing season—the females will bear seeds. When farmers grow both cannabis flower types close together in a field, that is a “hemp” crop. Pollinated hemp crops are highly valued for the raw materials of seeds, fibers and pulp.

    When talented growers separate the female flowers and grow them seedless, that is what federal and state tyrants still call “marihuana”—the seedless females, plus any compound extracted from them.

    Sadly, the federal definition of “hemp” from 2014 until now (and specifically its “0.3 percent THC” clause) has further complicated this matter. The truth, no matter how people slice and dice it, is that cannabidiol (CBD) and the dozens of other medicinal “cannabinoids” can only be extracted from seedless flowers—not from “hemp” crops. That’s the crux of the “identity crisis” described above.

    Yet the larger point is that our federal and state governments NEVER had the right to dictate which parts or compounds of cannabis plants are “legal,” and which are not. They should just get their damned bureaucracies out of the way and let the whole cannabis economy flourish (manufacturing, medicine, nutrition and adult recreation). That’s the real American way.

    Reply
  2. One Legacy Hemp on

    Well, the Industry kinda ” turned the knife inwards” on this one. By making the distinction between the two for obvious reasons, it still played itself into the devil’s lair.

    Reply
  3. Sister Kate on

    THE PEOPLE must NOT ever, ever, ever, allow hemp to be treated like marijuana. THAT WILL BE THE DEATH OF THE PLANET!!! We need UNREGULATED hemp in order to save the planet. We need every one and their brother growing hemp and making hemp products, not just the 1% who trashed the planet to begin with. You cannot say for 100 years that cannabis is bad because it gets you high and then say that cannabis is bad if it doesn’t get you high. That’s what heavy regulations say. That is what track and trace does. The people must resist for the sake of the planet. RESIST.

    Reply
  4. MKendrick on

    Smart attorneys need to reveal how hemp was illegally made illegal. As for today, the most important plan needs to be keeping all hemp and marijuana from EVER becoming GMO. This is one industry that Monsanto needs to be kept away from. Educate yourselves, and boycott medicinal products that aren’t naturally grown. I know Monsanto has said they plan to be the world’s leading producer of medical pot, but the world is doing just fine producing high quality products without any help from Monsanto! Their Trojan Horse game on wheat and soy products should not be allowed to be repeated with cannabis. Period.

    Reply

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