Cannabis gets most of the headlines, whether it is Canada ending prohibition, or GW Pharmaceuticals getting FDA approval for Epidiolex, medical use passing in the (very) conservative state of Oklahoma, or legalization supporters winning at the ballot box, but hemp has also made remarkable strides politically. After decades of seemingly* getting banned due to Reefer Madness propaganda around marijuana, hemp will be federally legal shortly if the Senate’s newly-passed Farm Bill gets signed into law. (I’m usually a skeptic, but one conspiracy theory that I believe is that cannabis was initially made illegal because of the economic impact hemp would have on other industries, and not that hemp was made illegal because of the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Motivations changed over time, however.)

Politics makes strange bedfellows and if you pay attention to our national discourse, you would know that Oregon’ Senators, Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, rarely agree with their counterparts in Kentucky, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul. Hemp is one issue that bridges that divide, due to the financial opportunities that the hemp industry provides their respective states, as Senator Wyden explained to OPB:

He believes legalizing hemp could be a big opportunity for job growth in Oregon. “We have several hundred farmers who are interested in this,” he said.

It’s not only Oregon farmers interested in growing and selling hemp. Farmers in Kentucky latched onto the opportunity as well.

“All of a sudden we had a bipartisan coalition, with two states with lots of farmers who are really interested in this,” Wyden said.

Jack Herer, the godfather of the hemp and cannabis legalization movement, said often that, “Hemp can save the world.” The environmental benefits of the plant are certainly needed more than ever. It is rare to have a win-win for the environment and business, but hemp is that rare example.

Hemp is a renewable resource with literally thousands of uses. Those multitude of uses provide ample economic benefits for those in the hemp industry, which has a rather symbiotic relationship with the cannabis industry, an example being CBD Naturals sponsoring the recent International Cannabis Business Conference in Vancouver. The hemp industry is growing with the cannabis industry and the future looks bright for hemp farmers, processors, and ancillary business ideas. Hopefully, the Senate Farm Bill will get signed into law soon and the United States can start to unleash the potential of the hemp plant. Hemp for Victory!

Learn about the latest developments for cannabis and hemp at the International Cannabis Business Conference in Portland, Oregon, this September 27th-28th. Get your tickets by September 12th to save $200!

Photo courtesy of Lesley L. via Flickr.