Minnesota has now joined other states participating in the industrial hem pilot program set forth via the Farm Act by passing the ‘Industrial Hemp Development Act’ recently.
“‘There will be no cultivation of industrial hemp — outside of the pilot program developed for ‘institutions of higher education in Minnesota’ — until 24 hours after the federal government authorizes nationalized commercial production,’ agency spokesman Allen Sommerfeld told The Associated Press in an email responding to questions about timelines for implementing the law.”
Industrial hemp production can replace the clear-cutting of slow-growth forests, reduce our use of paper and plastics, provide the planet with bio-fuel and even create sustainability in the financial sector, where most of our nation is struggling. Seriously – hemp has tons of awesome uses. With all this promise, the Federal government has yet to legalize blanket hemp cultivation, and only a handful of states are allowed to participate in the pilot programs.
There are so many farmers eager to grow hemp, but regulations make it difficult to receive a permit. Interestingly, Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, nor Syngenta need a ‘permit’ to grow GMOs, which are highly questionable and have been shown to be dangerous in some research.
In Tennessee, for example, 53 farmers submitted applications to grow hemp, and only a few were given permits. One farmer said:
“Farms used to have tobacco allotments, and farmers could use all the land they had available to make a little money off of it . . .When I was reading about this new program, I saw it as being able to help a whole lot of farmers statewide to recoup some of those losses. It could make land that has not been productive for some time to be productive again.”
If you are a farmer who is interested in growing hemp, the North American Industrial Hemp Council has a Q and A page that can help get you started. In Canada, they are already making over $1 billion a year growing hemp.
Colorado farmer, Ryan Loflin, is already convinced. He says:
“Hemp takes half the water to grow than wheat, and brings four times the income. Hemp is going to revive farming families.”