The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (commonly known as the 2018 Farm Bill) removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, paving the way for legal cultivation, possession, sale, and distribution of hemp plants. While the Farm Bill was passed on the national level, it gives states and Indian tribes the authority to regulate and limit the production and sale of hemp and hemp products within their borders.1
The legalization of industrial hemp is making positive impacts on both the economy and the environment. As a credit union that believes in Permaculture and caring for the Earth and our environment, we love supporting initiatives that work towards preserving and protecting our environment.
Hemp is extremely versatile, and can be used to produce a wide variety of products. Hemp is used to help produce over 25,000 products ranging from automotive parts, to textiles, to beauty products.2 Additionally hemp can be used to produce paper3, serving as an alternative to cutting down massive numbers of trees per year.
In our Biodegradable vs. Compostable article we discuss the dangers of non-biodegradable products, such as plastic. Plastic fills our landfills, and doesn’t biodegrade. The fibers found inside of hemp can be used to produce a biodegradable alternative to plastic3. If companies replace plastic with hemp biodegradable plastic, the amount of waste found at landfills and the pollution it creates would drastically decrease.
Hemp can also be used to produce eco-friendly and sustainable fuel options. Hemp biodiesel is produced using the oil of the pressed hemp seed and hemp ethanol/methanol can be produced from the fermented hemp stalk. These fuel options are made from domestically produced hemp, and are viable renewable fuel resources.4
While all of this is making an impact on the environment, the legalization of industrialized hemp has created a job surge. In May 2019 it was estimated that it would create tens of thousands of new jobs across multiple departments, creating positions like retail employees, accountants, compliance officers, lawyers, and more.5
Since the legalization of industrial hemp in 2018, the amount of acres being used to produce it has skyrocketed. Although there is no current count for 2020, in 2018 there were 78,176 acres, and in 2019 it jumped to 511,442.6 Hemp is a relatively new commodity to the nation, and with the burst of hemp products, it’s fair to say that the industry won’t be slowing anytime soon.
Are you a hemp business? We offer business accounts designed for you! Contact Kawtar El Alaoui, our Commercial Services Officer, at 505-256-6080 or Kawtar.ElAlaoui@sandia.org.
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