November 3, 2014

Hemp, Hemp Hooray: Once prohibited from even being grown, industrial hemp could end up as America’s next billion-dollar crop

Country World
The bad seed of U.S. agriculture is poised to make a heroic comeback. Industrial hemp, one of the earliest commercial crops in the world, has taken the first toddling steps toward respectability and could end up as America's next billion-dollar crop.

A provision of the current farm bill allows states the option of legalizing industrial hemp for research purposes. Separate from its psychoactive cousin, marijuana, industrial hemp is used in a wide range of products, from snack food to textiles to a substitute for steel and concrete. The seeds are grown and harvested for the health food market, and the tough fibers are used in industry and in a wide range of other products. It has also been essentially illegal to grow it here for the better part of the last eight decades.

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