Hemp’s close relation to marijuana nearly doomed the versatile plant to obscurity. For those who don’t know, industrial hemp is a member of the cannabis family, and it produces minimal amounts of THC, the cannabinoid that makes marijuana intoxicating. The nonpsychoactive plant has a plethora of applications ranging from textiles and construction to health and wellness, and it played a significant role in America’s economy while the colonies were under British rule and after gaining independence.
However, as the 1900s ended and the prohibitionist movement gained steam, hemp was lumped together with cannabis and eventually outlawed in the 1930s. It remained illegal until the 2014 Farm Bill allowed universities and state agriculture departments to launch pilot hemp programs. The 2018 Farm Bill finally removed industrial hemp from the list of Controlled Substances ending decades of prohibition, and an industry soon developed in earnest. Bolstered by hemp’s diverse applications as well as the alleged medicinal properties of cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (“CBD”) and cannabigerol (“CBG”), hemp has now become a space worth billions of dollars.
However, despite the significant success hemp has achieved after just a few years of legality, it is still held back by regulations. The 2018 Farm Bill categorized hemp as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, and therefore, farmers have to ensure their crop doesn’t surpass this limit. Keeping THC levels below 0.3% is a tough prospect, with an increasing number of hemp farmers discovering that their crop has more THC than legally allowed. “Hot hemp” tends to have around 1% THC, at least for the farmers who tried to keep THC levels low, but this level of THC is not intoxicating as psychoactive cannabis usually has at least 15% THC.
A lot of stakeholders have argued that the 0.3% THC limit is arbitrary and is not based on science; therefore, it doesn’t serve any purpose. If Congress were to raise this limit to 1%, farmers wouldn’t have to invest so much time and money in ensuring their crop’s THC levels remain low since most factors that contribute to THC levels are out of their control. Farmers would also be spared from suffering loses should regulators destroy hemp with more than 0.3% THC. Additionally, they would not be at risk of facing serious criminal charges, which the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) claims is a consequence of defying hemp regulations.
In fact, several countries have already adopted the 1% THC limit including Switzerland, Thailand and Ecuador. The current THC cap makes it extremely hard for farmers to cultivate a lucrative cash crop. Furthermore, the factors responsible for THC levels are out of the farmers’ control, and farmers often suffer major loses when regulators destroy their hot hemp.
A number of campaigns have been initiated to draw the attention of lawmakers to the need to adjust these retrogressive requirements. As the push to make reforms continues, cannabis industry players such as Golden Triangle Ventures Inc. (OTC: GTVH) continue to operate as best as they can under the current regulatory regime, and many such companies are thriving.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Golden Triangle Ventures Inc. (OTC: GTVH) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://nnw.fm/GTVH
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