Flashback to last month. It was the the Christmas season in 2018. The nation was gripped by strange weather. A partial government shutdown was starting. President George H.W. Bush died. Romaine was recalled. Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned.
It’s understandable that fairly big news for an industry as well as portions of American culture flew far below the radar of national attention. In the farm bill, which Congress passed and President Trump signed in December, was a change of how industrial hemp was classified.
It’s no longer considered a controlled substance.
The non-hallucinogenic cousin of marijuana, hemp has been considered a controlled substance because it has a very small amount of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But the amount is so low many people have wondered why it was still considered a controlled substance. It has about as much chance of getting someone high as Honey Buns have of getting someone drunk (yes, they contain a small amount of alcohol).
Hemp is biodegradable and requires no fossil fuels to produce, making it a popular fabric for the environmentally conscious. But more importantly, it’s extremely useful with high tensile strength, porous fibers breath, and strong durability. One report sent to me claims hemp has 20,000 verifiable uses. We have not independently verified them.
When the bill was signed on December 20, National Hemp Association chairman Geoff Whaling said, “I was thrilled to hear the news, sorry that I would not be able to be there in person and then took a moment to reflect on the path that brings us all to this, most important and historical day.”
Even with all the uses for hemp that are already known, it’s likely we’ll see new uses emerging for this versatile plant now that it’s officially no longer a controlled substance.