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China takes advantage of America’s leap into hemp, preempting first North American harvest


Source - Wikimedia Commons

If you’ve been buying CBD or other hemp products during the recent boom in that industry, they likely only came from one of a short list of locations.


What many people don’t realize is that along with states that had special exemptions for agriculture science research, medical marijuana programs and the like, a key supplier of hemp and CBD to the United States is actually China. Now, that dynamic is the subject of a New York Times profile that American hemp consumers will find very interesting. [1]


China’s quasi-totalitarian regime, with strict drug laws and dismal past for those interested in civil liberties, still doesn’t allow its citizens to partake of CBD or any other type of cannabis.

Still, that hasn’t stopped two of China’s 34 districts from upping their hemp cultivation substantially to become some of the most productive exporters of hemp and CBD in the world. [1]


Americans have seen a huge influx of interest for the products so many seek for their pain, anxiety, insomnia and a host of other common day-to-day problems. This has only increased since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the crop as an agricultural product.


There’s one catch: Since legalization only just came to America, this year marks the first real planting of hemp en masse across North America. States that used to be renowned for their tobacco cultivation have turned to commercial hemp to ease losses, and states that were at the cutting edge of medical and recreational marijuana legalization have been eager to farm hemp for years.


So where is all the hemp we buy coming from? That’s right, according to the New York Times, China. [1]


The New York Times isn’t alone in pointing out the ways China impacts CBD yields. A recent mini-documentary from Patagonia clothing that showcases all the potential for environmental benefits from planting hemp also shows how China makes up the majority of hemp imports.


Check out the full documentary with the link below. [2]


According to the New York Times, China has been growing and harvesting hemp for thousands of years. Sources in China reported on the curative and medical benefits as far back as 200 A.D. [1]


China has had an incredibly strict drug policy since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, but this has only deepened and tightened with UN resolutions in subsequent decades that incentivized hawkishness toward drugs. [1]


Still, how the regulations in China stack up against those in the US is noteworthy. Like America, they are allowed to sell hemp and CBD oil and seeds in lotions and cosmetics, but not in food and drink. [1]


It’s great that China makes so much hemp, and it’s been a huge economic boon for them. Soon, the very same benefits will come to the US with this fall’s harvest.


Sources

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/04/world/asia/china-cannabis-cbd.html

[2] https://www.nothingbuthemp.net/blog/watch-patagonia-releases-new-short-film-about-hemp-in-america

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