Across the U.S., farmers turn to hemp farming as states move to legalization

Across the U.S., farmers turn to hemp farming as states move to legalization

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The federal government legalized hemp cultivation at the end of 2018, but state by state, legislatures are following suit as hemp and CBD have boomed into the public consciousness.

One of the most important factors in the fate of the young hemp trade is how states and localities treat the matter of the new rush to plant and process for CBD. Here’s how some of the new developments across the U.S. stack up.

On Tuesday, Georgia’s state legislature passed a bill legalizing hemp growth for farmers who are interested. CBD products and oils are explicitly listed as protected uses for the hemp in the bill’s language. [1]

The governor of Georgia still needs to sign the bill, but things are looking promising for farmers there. [1]

Another bill is moving through Florida’s house of representatives, and while it isn’t as far along in the approval process as Georgia’s, reporting from a local Fox affiliate indicates a sizable amount of farmer support for the measure, which could bring sweeping economic growth to Northwestern Florida. [2]

Michigan also has a population of farmers hoping to plant the crop for the first time this spring, after that state legalized industrial hemp in November of 2018. [3]

Starting Friday, April 5th, Texas no longer includes hemp on its list of controlled substances, though debates about whether to fully legalize the crop at the state level still abound.

The Dallas Morning News reported that Texas has especially confusing cannabis regulations, and some areas within the state were subject to raids and crackdowns by police following the 2018 Farm Bill which liberalized hemp laws from the federal side of things. [5]

In the wake of state-led initiatives to legalize the plant, which consumes far less water as a textile than the production of polyester and other fabrics even without its lucrative uses in CBD, many struggling farmers are moving into hemp harvests this spring to help their bottom line.

West Virginia is another area that has seen the promise of CBD and hemp manufacture. Mike Weaver, for instance, is a West Virginia farmer who left his line of work raising chickens in favor of the booming hemp trade. [6]

"We're in terrible need of employment especially for our young people," Weaver told local ABC affiliate WHSV. "They all have to go across the mountain to Harrisonburg, down to Moorefield or move out of the area for employment and I'd like to do my part to change that.” [1]