US hemp expansion challenged by lack of trade protection

(This is an abridged version of the Hemp Notebook, which appears in the May-June issue of Marijuana Business Magazine.)

President Trump has been talking a lot about tariffs and trade deals with other nations. Perfect timing!

Hemp badly needs his help right now as the industry explodes – without the trade protections afforded to other crops.

Global opportunities abound in hemp.

Companies already export oils, seeds and even CBD isolate with some success. A North Dakota seed producer, for example, is selling viable seed in Canada.

But legal uncertainty is keeping the American hemp industry from truly taking off.

Hemp faces trade problems both ways, from importing and from exporting.

The 2014 Farm Bill allows the importation of viable hemp seeds from other countries – but the law doesn’t extend agricultural trade protection to those seeds. The result? The United States has become a dumping ground for inferior hemp seed.

Exporting hemp is an even bigger problem.

Producers say there’s an insatiable global market for American-grown CBD products derived from hemp, not marijuana.

But U.S. Customs officials routinely seize cannabidiol products regardless of the source, leading producers to label exports as “hemp oil” or even vaguer names to avoid interception.

(Click here to read more about the challenges the U.S. hemp industry faces in the global market – and what can be done to fix them.)

Kristen Nichols can be reached at [email protected]

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2 comments on “US hemp expansion challenged by lack of trade protection
  1. Ruth Shamai on

    This will cut both ways.

    If the US protects their hemp crop with tariffs, then other countries will do the same, making it harder to export the US crops.

    Look what happened yesterday with steel and aluminum.

    Reply
    • The mad Yooper on

      You have to start some where.
      When there are imbalances a new agreement must be made. In order to be beneficial to all who would enter into such an agreement , they must all have the want to in order to barter a better deal for there position.
      In some of the circles I travel in this is know as “Haggling”. When I go into a car dealer to buy a knew care I don’t just take the sticker price as Thee price. We have to strike an acceptable deal.
      Hemp and trade is no different.

      Reply

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