Kentucky is pushing forward with the production of industrial Hemp in a bid to offset the commonwealth’s losses suffered because of a slipping tobacco market. Hemp, a plant that closely resembles the Marijuana plant offers significant industrial potential for the state, farmers, and processors.
How Hemp Can Be Used and Why Is It Booming?
The greatest potential for Hemp is in the CBD oil production for use in food and alternative health solutions to address pain and other health-related issues. In Kentucky alone, the acreage used to plant Hemp is set to triple across the state. Senator Mitch McConnell pushed the inclusion of Hemp legalization in the 2018 farm bill.
Kentucky is pressing forward with by doubling down on the promise that Hemp may one day replace tobacco. According to a quote published on CNBC’s website,
"Industrial hemp is promising and is the fastest area of growth in Kentucky agriculture," Ryan Quarles, Kentucky commissioner of agriculture, told CNBC in an interview. "We don't know if industrial hemp will replace tobacco, but we are going to champion it."
The article further stated,
“Industrial hemp is used on a wide range of products, including apparel, foods, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, rope, car parts, and building materials.
Yet the majority of the U.S. hemp market today is for products that include the non-psychoactive compound cannabidiol, or CBD. Large retailers have started to carry CBD-infused products, such as oils, used for a wide range of medical conditions, from epilepsy to arthritis pain.”
According to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture website,
“Industrial hemp has at least three main harvestable components: 1) grain/seeds, 2) fiber, and 3) floral material for phytocannabinoids. Each of these forms is grown under different agricultural models and harvested using different methods. Industrial hemp is a crop that we are still learning a lot about.”
Hemp is a growth industry that is creating tremendous buzz across the U.S. as states, farmers, and businesses look to cash in on the newest “cash crop.”