It’s easy to look at what lies ahead, in the wake of the Farm Bill 2018. However, before we look at that, we must also address the challenges that were experienced with the prohibition of hemp. The benefits of hemp have long been documented all over the place. This is not just about the health benefits, but also the industrial purpose to which hemp has been used over the years. Therefore, the prohibition of hemp had succeeded not just in controlling the production and use of the cannabis variant, but also in suppressing the livelihoods of consumers, farmers and the production of medicine for patients. This gives you a rough idea of just how important the lifting of the ban on hemp is, thanks to the Farm Bill 2018.
What is Hemp All About?
Hemp is more than just a cannabis variant. It’s a revolutionary plant, and it’s a pity that it has taken so long to appreciate its benefits. Compared to cotton, hemp is not just more durable, it’s also softer. Hemp can be put to use in many other ways, other than a fabric alternative to cotton.
Hemp can be used in the industrial process, producing cars that can withstand impact up to 10 times more than steel, without a single dent. Hemp is also lighter. On the same front, hemp can be a good replacement for trees used in making paper. This is because it grows faster, and takes up a smaller acreage. There’s so much that we can do with hemp, than is done by conventional means, and this explains why the Farm Bill should have come sooner.
The Politics behind the Farm Bill
If there’s a group of people who have suffered the politics of President Trump, it has to be the farmers. The tariff wars between the US and China have been leveraged on corn, soybean, and wheat. For a country that imports more than $24 billion of products from the US, it’s a pity that the largest consumer of wheat in the world, China, is caught up in a trade war with the US, which trickles down to hurting the farmers.
In light of the high trade tariffs that the Trump administration placed on trade partners, it only makes sense that they would seek alternative sources, like Argentina and Brazil. Take the example of soybeans. China could slash its imports of US soybeans by 69%, something that would have a detrimental effect on farmers.
One thing that farmers can look forward to in terms of the Farm Bill is the fact that the hemp renaissance is long overdue, and this could help bridge the gap between China and the US. Most of the barriers to doing business in marijuana have been eliminated, especially since hemp was listed together with marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance. With the USDA coming into play in labeling American grown hemp, farmers can now look forward to benefits like water rights, and making hemp a non-drug commodity.