Although hemp is considered a legal crop in the state of North Dakota, the state is still often in trouble with the US Drug Enforcement Agency, which continues to claim that hemp is marijuana and is therefore illegal.
The 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law by President Trump in December and aims to distinguish hemp from marijuana. Although both hemp and marijuana are obtained from cannabis, hemp has a much lower percentage of the THC than marijuana. THC is the psychoactive substance responsible for making people high.
House Bill 1349
State representative David Monson has passed legislation to regulate hemp production in North Dakota. The bill seeks to recognize hemp as well as its derivatives as something legitimate. House Bill 1349 was unanimously passed in the House late last month and has already been sent to the Senate. He believes there’s a good chance that there will be a lot more acres of hemp that will be grown in the state soon.
The Farm Bill has referred to hemp as any component of the cannabis plant that has no more than 0.3% of the THC, which is the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. House Bill 1349 is aligned with the state’s definition of hemp. This measure aims to create a program that will regulate hemp production in the state.
Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program
Before the 2018 Farm Bill was signed, hemp in North Dakota was only cultivated under the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program. This was after the previous farm bill was put into law, which is the Farm Bill 2014. The law allows the states to establish pilot programs that will allow for the cultivation of hemp to be used for research purposes.
Under the pilot program of the state, producers are being charged $25 for every acre of hemp grown. But under the House Bill 1349, the fee must not go beyond $350. Hemp processors in the state believe that with the approval of the bill, North Dakota will go from being one of the highest cost states to being one of the lowest.
Another bill, the House Bill 1113, seeks to add hemp to the list of pharmaceutical drugs. But the way in which it was written only allows for the THC level to be at 0.1%. The House Bill 1349 is set to be heard by the Senate Agriculture Committee soon while the House Bill 1113 was already passed by the House and towards the Senate with an amendment. The bill is now brought back to the House for consideration.
Various Uses of Hemp
Hemp is known for its wide variety of uses and that includes clothing and paper. The Cannabidiol or CBD has also been recognized as one of the most lucrative of all components of hemp and is now leading the way into establishing a good market for hemp.
Since 2014, the cost of hemp has gone down, which has prevented the expansion of products in the state. However, the CBD may change that.