Hemp

An Act of Congress Could Bring Hemp to the Shelves of Your Local Grocery Store

Grocery store trends look good for hemp farmers and entrepreneurs in 2019.

|

|||Tea/Dreamstime.com
Tea/Dreamstime.com

After decades of prohibition, consumers across America may soon be able to access hemp products in grocery stores and other everyday places.

Hemp, a nonintoxicating cousin to marijuana, has many uses. Its fibers, for example, can be used for clothing or ropes. Hemp seeds, hearts, and oil can be used in edible products. The naturally occuring cannabidiol (CBD) that can be extracted from hemp has been credited with reducing chronic pain and intense childhood epilepsy syndromes. While hemp has enjoyed a long farming history (even George Washington grew it), confusion about its proximity to pot has led government prohibitionists to ban the crop.

Now, a bill is providing hope for hemp farmers and entrepreneurs.

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, a.k.a. the farm bill, contains language that would "legalize industrial hemp and make hemp producers eligible for the federal crop insurance program." Disagreements over work requirements for food stamps have been stalling the bill's progress, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.) assured reporters this week that the full legalization of hemp would be included in the final version of the bill.

That would be "a huge step for the American hemp industry," says Jason Amatucci, founder of the Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition. "What the 2018 farm bill will do is legitimize the industry to states, banks, insurance companies, Wall Street, and investors. It will help to clarify any legal gray areas that federal and state agencies have towards hemp and their end consumer products."

Amatucci and others in the industry hope the bill will get to President Donald Trump's desk this session, or at least in early 2019.

Meanwhile, Whole Foods has just released its forecast for the top 10 food trends in 2019. One is that "hemp-derived products are going mainstream." An interest in the crop's benefits has inspired many brands to enter the hemp business.

The luxury natural skin care business Andalou Naturals, for example, has launched a CannaCell® Skin Care line with more than 25 skin, hair, and body care products containing hemp stem cells. And breweries have started adding hemp and CBD to products—to the extent that regulators will let them.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

14 responses to “An Act of Congress Could Bring Hemp to the Shelves of Your Local Grocery Store

  1. I’m already 3D printing hemp at home.

    1. 3d printing is the clove cigarettes of the 2000s.

  2. Ted Metz, the Libertarian candidate for Governor here in Georgia, was laughed off the stage (even mocked by a Libertarian radio show host here in Atlanta) for bringing up industrial hemp. And then everyone lost their cotton-picking minds when he suggested suggested giving hemp milk to your infant in lieu of formula. Whether he is right or wrong, these ignoramuses can’t even wrap their minds around the concept of debating a controversial subject.

  3. Meanwhile, Whole Foods has just released its forecast for the top 10 food trends in 2019. One is that “hemp-derived products are going mainstream.” An interest in the crop’s benefits has inspired many brands to enter the hemp business.

    I look forward to hemp replacing kale at the #2 position of my ‘insufferable food fads’ list. Part of me hopes it dethrones pumpkin, part of me doesn’t.

    1. When did pumpkin become an “insufferable food fad”? Do you hate Thanksgiving?

  4. yikes! did anyone clue the Getttys?

    1. everything is a bag wtf.

  5. It will be a convenient way to hide grows of marijuana in plain sight. Just a few hundred plants scattered in a 50 acre field will be impossible to detect if they look almost the same.

    1. Just a few hundred plants scattered in a 50 acre field will be impossible to detect if they look almost the same.

      I’m no expert, but they don’t look almost the same. Hemp is harvested from the stalk or cane while marijuana from the leaves. Hemp grows more like a tree while marijuana grows more like a bush. Any place where it wouldn’t be conspicuous with hemp is a place where it wouldn’t be conspicuous with corn, wheat, or soybeans.

      1. Who are you that is so wise in the ways of science?

  6. I was in Maine with an old girlfriend back in 1997 or so and she bought a pair of hemp panties from a small shop, so hemp has been available for a while it seems.

    1. Hemp hacky sacks, shirts, and hats were big in the grunge era. Obviously, it’s been a progression but you could import processed hemp fiber and hemp products but couldn’t grow the crop itself. Sufficiently ‘clean’ oils were allowed too IIRC.

  7. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R?Ky.) assured reporters this week that the full legalization of hemp would be included in the final version of the bill.
    So we started calling him “Cocaine Mitch” and all of a sudden he’s Crumb’s Mr. Natural. Who knew a reverse Broken Window Theory would work on politicians.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.