We’ve come a long way from December of 2018. In fact, so many things have changed that it’s hard to keep track of them all.
One major fact that marks that timespan is the ascendancy of hemp and CBD. More people than ever know about CBD, where it comes from, why they might be interested in using it and even what their favorite brands are.
While customers may be developing an attachment to their favorite purveyors and products, regulatory confusion from states and the federal government agents at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
For some, treating industrial hemp and CBD as strange or in some sense alien products reflects a strange mindset, perhaps even a stigma.
“The ‘hemp industry' wants the same standards and restrictions applicable to other cash crops. Other crops besides hemp produce botanical extracts, grain, fibers, etc.,” wrote Robert Hoban in a recent column for Forbes.
“It is important to understand that we are not reinventing the wheel and existing standards could apply to industrial hemp, so why do we need a hemp-specific framework?”
While the industry at large is largely still negotiating its place in the wider agricultural and retail spaces, some entrepreneurs aren’t still walking a fine line.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Red White and Bloom CEO Brad Rogers owns and operates a sizable hemp greenhouse and is currently deciding whether to apply to join Illinois’ marijuana licensure program to expand the market of customers he could reach.
“It’s definitely a huge opportunity,” Rogers said. “This isn’t going away. This is the end of prohibition. These jobs are going to stay, solid, well-paying jobs.”
Rogers told the Tribune that he might be able to make more money if he overcame the regulatory and licensing barriers, but testing confusion would probably stop his company from growing both industrial hemp and marijuana simultaneously.
Hemp is defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as having 0.3% THC content or less, while marijuana has more of the compound which causes its users to be intoxicated.
In the recent years police crackdowns on industrial hemp have actually led to unfortunate arrests and cases of mistaken identity where testing wasn’t available or cops thought the hemp was marijuana by its sight and smell.
In the future, industry insiders and scientists hope to develop clearer regulatory guidelines for hemp and faster more accurate tests to distinguish it from marijuana.