- Relaxed U.S. restrictions on hemp production increasingly likely
- Hemp extraction legislation expected to occur in Canada in mid-to-late 2018
- Hemp used in dozens of applications across the industrial spectrum
- “Soil-to-Shelf” strategy for development of hemp in Canada and the United States
If you lived in Jamestown in the late eighteenth century, the first permanent English settlement in what became the United States, and you did not grow cannabis, you would most likely earn the contempt of fellow citizens. You could also end up in jail; refusing to grow cannabis sativa, known as Indian hemp, was actually against the law in Virginia. Hemp enjoyed such a favorable status that you could even pay your taxes with it, and, during the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth, cultivation of hemp flourished. By 1938, after new methods for stripping fiber from the plant were developed, the widely read Popular Mechanics Magazine was touting hemp as the ‘New Billion-Dollar Crop’.
It was the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act in 1938, which banned cultivation of cannabis, that changed the fortunes of the industry. Hemp production in the U.S. shrank and has remained in that atrophied state since then. However, recent legislative initiatives are a signal that happier days lie ahead for hemp, and Global Hemp Group, Inc. (CSE: GHG) (FRANKFURT: GHG) (OTC: GBHPF) is well positioned to benefit. The company is out to build a comprehensive portfolio of hemp-based companies that can interact to capture synergies. With hemp having so many uses, Global Hemp is betting that America’s ‘New Billion-Dollar Crop’ is set for a renaissance.
Recent legislative action is reshaping the regulatory landscape. Section 7606 of the Agricultural Act 2014, known as the ‘Farm Bill’, authorizes institutions of higher education or state departments of agriculture to grow industrial hemp for “research conducted under an agricultural pilot program or other agricultural or academic research,” so long as state law permits the growth and cultivation of the plant. There are now 34 states that have enacted hemp legislation and will eventually allow cultivation for research and commercial purposes. It has sparked a renewed interest in commercial cultivation. In 2017, there were 25,541 acres of hemp grown in 19 states, up from 9,770 in 2016, with 1,456 state hemp licenses issued. By comparison, in 2017, Canada cultivated more than 120,000 acres across the country.
The catch phrase of ‘New Billion-Dollar Crop’ is more than hyperbole. An analysis of the commercial product potential of industrial hemp in North America reveals an astonishing array of applications. Hemp seeds (achenes) are used in the manufacture of baked goods, salad oil, personal care products, animal food, dietary supplements and specialty industrial oils. Fiber from the plant is used to make plastic-like molded products and biocomposites, specialty papers, construction fiberboard, biodegradable landscape matting, plant cultures, carpet and upholstery textiles, as well as finer textiles. The woody stem core (hurd) is used for building materials, animal bedding and thermal insulation, while the floral bracts give us medicinal cannabinoids and oils for food flavors and perfumes. The whole plant is useful; it can also be employed for fuel and silage (fodder for cattle and other ruminants).
Global Hemp has already begun growing hemp. In January, the company reported on its successful joint venture with Marijuana Company of America, Inc. (OTC: MCOA). The two companies are collaborating on an industrial hemp project in New Brunswick, Canada. Results of the 2017 season were encouraging, and the partners are now planning a minimum of 125 acres of commercial hemp cultivation for 2018 (http://cnw.fm/Jl6Hs). Over the following three years, acreage is planned to expand to more than 1,000 acres.
Global Hemp plans to apply for a license to extract cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabinoids from the upcoming industrial hemp crop in New Brunswick. Discussions are also underway with potential processing partners for the extraction of cannabinoids and straw processing for building materials from this harvest in the fall of 2018, with a longer-term plan to establish permanent processing facilities by the end of 2019. Global Hemp also continues to evaluate industrial hemp opportunities in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, with the goal of replicating its New Brunswick hemp project in the United States.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.GlobalHempGroup.com
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