By Donna Westfal – February 5. 2018 –
But it looks like the U.S. hemp industry is on it’s way back due to a provision in the 2014 farm bill signed by President Obama on February 7, 2014. It removed hemp grown for research purposes from the Controlled Substances Act, the main federal drug law.
What does that mean for Del Norte County? Does it mean we can plant those seeds and start manufacturing rope, clothing or any number of things under the sun. If there are 500 known uses for hemp, do you think that maybe we could figure out how to make a few of them income producing and put people to work?
Just research the Canadian market and look at the figures. In 2017, they are reporting up to 150,000 acres now producing hempseed. Listen to this: They’re selling hempseed to South Korea because consumers are replacing fish oil with hempseed after seeing it on a home shopping channel. Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance states that exports went from $600,000 in 2016 to $45 million. But, with China as their competitor, some say demand is expected to decrease along with prices.
But others say that So. Korea is just a springboard to sales in Japan, Taiwan and Thailand.
Now let’s look at the American market where Hemp has been banned for eight decades. Yawn. Stretch. Let’s take a nap. Nothing exciting there, yet.
Although a company, Medical Marijuana, Inc in Poway, California got into the CBD ticture market after the 2004 Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, HIA vs DEA, which prevented the federal government from treating hemp as though it were marijuana, to market canabidiol-based products to the public.
We don’t really know what it means for Del Norte County. Because even if growers were successful in planting lots of acreage, what products will they try to make? Where will they set-up factories to process? How will they market their products?
Not that it’s impossible, it just means there are more questions than answers at the moment.
Could a hemp clothing manufacturing plant be in our future? Or a paper mill? Afterall, Thomas Jefferson wrote the draft of the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper 242 years ago. With all the lumber mills now gone, probably a food product like granola bars made with hempseed is more likely in our area. Although if we could manage to construct a paper mill, there are lots of products that could be created from cardboard boxes to toilet paper to kleenex, to wipes, to whatever the imagination can come up with…. which is sure to be nixed by the California Coastal Commission.