22 Apr Tennessee Farmers Ready to Grow Hemp Despite the Hurdles
State House Bill 2445 allows farmers in Tennessee to legally grow industrial hemp after a decades-long ban, but as comes with many laws, there are strings attached.
A hearing this past Tuesday by the Tennessee Agriculture Department discussed rules they hope to implement before farmers plant this spring. Such rules include licenses required by all farmers wanting to grow hemp, priced at $250 per year in addition to $2 per acre. Whenever an inspector goes out to test a farmer’s crops for THC levels (which they can do at any time), the farmer must also pay the inspector $35 an hour, including their travel time.
While some farmers are embracing the rules, optimistic of hemp’s future acceptance, others are understandably offput by the regulations for a plant with no harmful uses.
Industrial hemp has potential
Industrial hemp has a rampant potential, purporting over 25,000 uses including superior paper that, when compared to paper from trees, can be recycled more times and does not require the toxic bleaching chemicals. The crop is also an incredible source for protein rich hemp seeds and hemp seed oil, packed with essential fatty acids (EFA) such as omega-3 and omega-6 GLA.
Oils made from industrial hemp containing high levels of the naturally occurring compound cannabidiol (CBD), are currently being used and tested for their anti inflammatory, anti anxiety, anti spasm, and other effects.
Hemp can not make you high
Although the name hemp has been tarnished to hold the same bad name as marijuana, in reality it’s entirely different. Hemp is so low in the psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahyrdocannabinol (THC) that it’s considered to possess no street value for its lack of a “high” effect.
At the hearing, Tennessean farmer John Quinnan said the controversy surrounding hemp is essentially due to a misunderstanding. The federal government outlawed hemp in the 1930s after questionably fabricated or even racist propaganda reshaped the nation’s vision of all families of cannabis into fear towards marijuana’s dangerous psychoactive effects.
“We really aren’t dealing with a substance that needs to be controlled,” Quinnan sad.
Hemp is currently a $300 million industry despite the federal ban, which is expected to increase as it becomes more readily available within the United States.