03 May '11, 9am
Hemp History Week Pushes for Legalizing Industrial Hemp in USA
Since 1998 the U.S. as allowed the import of food-grade hemp, and companies including Nature’s Path, Nutiva, and Manitoba Harvest make a bevy of products from breakfast cereals to high-protein supplements. Washington DC is also starting to get it, as politicians with diverse views from Barney Frank to Ron Paul have introduced legislation to legalize industrial hemp production. For now that bill languishes in Congress, but hemp products have become more popular. The benefits are numerous: easy to farm with almost no need for herbicides or pesticides, easily gaining the “organic” label for farmers; adaptability to most climates; promise as a biofuel feedstock; potential for water remediation technologies; and building materials. For the hemp lobby, however, the road ahead is a long one.