The Newest Farming Craze to Hit Pennsylvania: Hemp Cultivation
It was back in 2014 when the federal government approved a pilot program that explored hemp. Although this was regulated per state, it opened lots of opportunities, especially for Pennsylvania.
This plant was previously banned because it has relations to cannabis. But now that country is more open to such farming, the plant has been grown in a lot of states. Let’s take a look at the situation in PA.
What is Hemp?
To classify varieties of cannabis, the term hemp is commonly used. With a scientific name, Cannabis sativa, you’d really think that this plant contains lots of THC which is responsible for making people high.
But in reality, hemp only contains little THC compared to marijuana. in fact, it only contains less than 0.3% of THC, which is definitely low if you want to get high. Anything over that content is legally called marijuana.
This is generally a non-intoxicating product that was legalized back in 2018 through the Agricultural Act of 2018.
This plant has long been used for different industrial products. Hemp seeds contain about 30% oil which are great sources for protein and fiber. This can also be eaten raw or turned into milk. Some even make it as protein powder.
Currently, hemp is now legal on a federal level and states can freely decide on what they want to do with this freedom. Although, the state ensures through testing that the plants being grown are hemp and not marijuana.
Confusion Between Hemp and Marijuana
It’s quite understandable that people are getting confused with marijuana and hemp. When they see a hemp plant, they easily confuse it with medical marijuana.
As mentioned in the previous section, a plant can only be categorized as marijuana if its THC content exceeds 0.3%. Other than that, it’s not going to get you into legal problems. But this isn’t common knowledge, only those who dig deep find out this crucial difference.
In a PA farm show, attendees were in for a whole lot of confusion. At first, they believe they’re already familiar with both plants but then, they question where everything comes from. Because these plants are related to each other, it’s hard to tell the difference.
It came to a point where these farmers explained over a decade the difference between the two.it took quite some time but people listened and now people are reacting quite differently.
Now, it’s a good thing that the difference is quite clear, in the level of farmers. These farmers are now looking for ways to get their hands on the seeds and start their own hemp cultivation business.
Hemp in Pennsylvania
Hemp was already quite popular in Pennsylvania before, when it was being grown to be used for rope, clothes, or feeds. But when cotton became popular, hemp started to decline and it totally went off the market when the US congress declared it as illegal early 1930s.
Now that it’s gaining popularity again, a lot of opportunities have been opened. But first, these farmers need to create or find a supply chain to make sure they’re going to profit from the business they will open.
When the annual application period closed back in April 30, 2019, the Department of Agriculture has already received about 300 applications. Over 80 applications have been previously approved and a couple of growers are already operating for hemp cultivation.
Luckily in PA, there’s no limit on how big your area for hemp cultivation is. This is definitely an advantage for growers and they’re definitely going for it. It won’t be long before these growers have over thousands of acres of lands.
Growers are getting more and more confident that hemp cultivation will boom like the medical marijuana industry because the plant has lots of uses, not just for healing but for day-to-day use. There’s still room for research and exploration, especially since the plant has a lot of different uses.
But these growers are also making sure that the hemp varieties they bring into the state are the ones that are compatible with the state’s climate and the seasons that come and go. Farming systems are also quite different which need to be adjusted for these plants.
One thing’s for sure, the state and the farmers are doing their parts in making sure that it will turn into a profitable industry.
There are a lot of opportunities for hemp, especially in PA. The plant could be turned into a lot of industrial products that have a whole different purpose than marijuana itself. This kind of opportunity is definitely what farmers are grabbing now. It won’t be long before this craze will blow and there will a whole new catalogue of products that are solely from hemp. If you want to know more, visit www.veriheal.com.