May 17, 2018, Arizona
Hemp one was considered a profitable cash crop all around the world. But since the beginning of the 20th century, the crop was started to treat as an illegal commodity. This persecution of hemp gradually decreased it’s commercial cultivation.
Now when the world knows that hemp has many commercial uses other than being a minor psychoactive substance, many jurisdictions are moving to re-legalize the farming of the plant. In a recent development, Arizona has greenlighted a pilot program for hemp cultivation. The Grand Canyon State has moved to do this because of the commercial benefits of the crop.
Hemp is not Marijuana
For many people, hemp, cannabis, and marijuana are one and the same thing. In the development of this widespread misconception, the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 played an important role because it prohibited the cultivation of all species of cannabis plant including hemp and marijuana.
Even though hemp and marijuana belong to the same family tree, there is a big difference between the two. For instance, hemp is not rich in THC, the infamous psychoactive component of marijuana. Furthermore, hemp can be used as a raw material in the production of many different products. From organic body care solutions to the preparation of plastic, paper, and composites, hemp can have many industrial usages.
The tax act, however, made it impossible to differentiate marijuana and hemp from a legal point of view. However, hemp is making a gradual comeback to the legal market. The previous federal administration permitted the hemp research. Nevertheless, the commercially cultivated hemp is still classified as a class I drug in federal law books.
It is also worth noting that hemp is a better option for the extraction of non-psychoactive CBD oils, a product that is being used by thousands of patients all across the country to deal with various serious health conditions.
Arizona’s Hemp Pilot Program
Doug Ducey, Arizona’s governor, has recently signed an agriculture bill that will allow the cultivation and sell of hemp for a specific time period. At the end of the program, the regulators and lawmakers will assess its results and decide a long-term fate of hemp in the state.
A permit from the department of agriculture will be required to get inducted into the program. Moreover, hemp strains with more than 0.3 percent of THC will still be considered as an active psychoactive substance.
Governor Ducey has clearly said that they are treating hemp as an agricultural product. By making hemp an agricultural item, the state can capture the market of CBD oil that is in great demand for its therapeutic benefits. Moreover, some strains of hemp can also be used for the manufacturing of many other commercial products. In short, the state can experience significant improvement in its commercial activity with the legalization of hemp cultivation.
It is worth mentioning that Arizona will be the 39th state to have legal hemp in any form. Experts, however, put emphasis on the legalization of hemp at the national level to provide a level playing field to hemp farmers.
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