"Pennsylvania’s New Hemp Projects"
Hemp was a main cash crop that was used to make rope and other textiles in Pennsylvania’s distant past; the state even has a township called Hempfield Township in Westmoreland County named after -- you guessed it, hemp fields! While Pennsylvania works on the laws and regulations surrounding the newly legalized medical cannabis in its state, the state has also begun working on establishing several new industrial hemp projects. In this article, we’ll take a look at what industrial hemp is, what Pennsylvania’s laws concerning industrial hemp are, and what it’s new industrial hemp projects are all about. Read on for more information on how the state is making industrial hemp a part of its citizens’ lives.
What is Hemp?
Put simply, hemp is a cannabis plant that has been historically grown primarily for the use of its fiber and seeds. However, today hemp is any cannabis plant that has less than .3% THC so long as it is cultivated in a state will hemp law approval and for research purposes. Hemp is simple to grow, and has provided centuries of cultivation for our planet – we believe that hemp cultivation started about 12,000 years ago. Hemp can and has been used for manufacturing paper, clothing, shoes, rope, canvas for ship sails and other uses, and can now be used for making nutritional oils, plastics, and building materials. Hemp is legal to cultivate in 28 states today, and under the 2014 Agricultural Act (or Farm Bill as it’s known), each state can pass legislation to make hemp cultivation legal. Colorado, where Green Lotus Hemp is based, is an example of a state that has legalized hemp cultivation. Check your state government website to see if hemp farming is legal in your state. Hemp is different than marijuana, another popular variety of the cannabis plant. Hemp, if smoked or ingested, will not produce euphoria or a “high.” Marijuana will.
What are Pennsylvania’s Laws on Hemp?
Pennsylvania’s hemp laws are currently governed by the Farm Bill, and the Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council (PaHIC) is an excellent source of information about industrial hemp in the state. You can take a look at this presentation on how industrial hemp cultivation can improve the planet’s sustainability and increase business revenues for Pennsylvania here. (The presentation was shown at the Women Grow convention in the state.) Pennsylvania signed the Industrial Hemp Act on October 19, 2016. When the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its rules for the industrial hemp program, many considered it too expensive and restrictive for individual farmers and small businesses to participate. There were only 30 permits available, and only 5 acres were permitted per permit holder, which limits revenue. The fees added up to at least $4,000 just to get started, and CBD production was called “not permissable” despite Farm Bill provisions due to the fact that it can be converted to THC. CBD cannot, in fact, be converted into THC. Pennsylvania does allow CBD to be imported into the state from other states and other countries, so why would the state limit production of CBD and prevent its own citizens from supplying it to other Pennsylvanians? The program is not really applicable to individual farmers or small businesses as the state had hoped -- large universities were the only organizations capable of supporting the fees and restrictions of the new hemp bill.
What are These New Hemp Projects About?
Finally, in January of 2017, the Hemp Pilot Program established through the PA Department of Agriculture closed its application acceptance with 30 applicants. PAHIC has partnered with Lehigh University for phytoremediation (reclaiming of toxic soil through hemp cultivation), the isolation and identification of antimicrobial hemp compounds (who knew hemp could be antimicrobial??), and hemp 3D printing. The future looks bright for hemp in Pennsylvania, as the state hopes these pilot programs will prove. Other companies involved with the pilot program include GenCanna Global, Inc., and Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding noted that the first step in allowing and fostering industrial hemp projects in the state is to “demonstrate the viability and the potential of the plant through these research projects.” Although the pilot program doesn’t leave much room for individual hemp farmers, the research obtained through these larger projects may allow for smaller businesses and farmers to become a part of the industrial hemp process in the future. Let’s hope so, as hemp has numerous applications for people and the planet that make it the perfect cash crop for farmers.
About Julie Godard:
Julie, a guest blogger of Green Lotus Hemp Products, is a strong advocate of cannabis, both in medical and recreational forms, for expanding our knowledge of medicine, culture, and the reality of our planet. She is an experienced freelance writer, content strategist, and cannabis industry researcher with a deep concern for social welfare and love of scientific discovery.
|Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. All of GLH products are sold as nutritional supplements, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.|