“There’s a definite need for industrial hemp processing/manufacturing facilities and more education. Hemp, Inc. has the infrastructure in place now to help fill both those needs. Our hemp processing facility and mill operation is the only one of its magnitude in not only North America but the entire western hemisphere with 70,000 square feet, on over 9 acres in Spring Hope, North Carolina, and we are set to start holding informational and learning seminars at The Hemp University. With the only commercial processing facility in North America, Hemp, Inc. has the capacity to process millions of pounds of hemp fibers and stalks a year,” said Perlowin.
With the capacity to process this much hemp commercially, states across America can plant thousands of acres of hemp without the worry of not being able to process it. According to a recent published article on MedicalMarijuanaInc.com, 10,000 acres of industrial hemp were planted during 2016 across 15 states. “Now into its fourth growing season, Kentucky has been a pioneer for hemp’s resurgence in the U.S. Virginia recently harvested its very first hemp crop since the 1930s. Rhode Island just passed a law allowing anyone in the state to legally cultivate hemp. In an effort to help kick-start its own hemp industry, Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture recently launched a cost-share program to help farmers cover the costs associated with hemp projects.” According to the Vote Hemp 2016 States Report also cited in the article, 31 states have established laws defining industrial hemp.
“More people are aware of the benefits of hemp and more states realize that the economic benefits of hemp production outweigh non-production. Therefore, hemp has become quite the sought after resource. We are definitely in the forefront leading the way as the hemp industry continues to burgeon,” said David Schmitt, COO of Hemp, Inc.’s wholly owned subsidiary, Industrial Hemp Manufacturing, LLC.
In Wyoming, House Bill 230 was approved by the House Judiciary Committee last week which could allow farmers to grow hemp. According to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, the “Wyoming Department of Agriculture would be authorized to apply to the federal government for a permit to begin a hemp production program in Wyoming. Once that permission is granted, the department would oversee hemp production in the state, and farmers could apply to the department to be able to grow hemp.” Since the House Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the bill, it will go to the full House of Representatives for consideration.
In Missouri, two bills (HB 83 and HB 170) were recently heard in the Missouri House Agriculture Committee. Both bills would create a system for licensing farmers to cultivate “a very low-THC variety of cannabis which would be useful for a wide variety of agricultural and industrial purposes.” According to the ActivistPost.com article, HB 170 specifically “includes a provision allowing farmers to retain seeds for planting the year following a harvest.” Generally, seeds are difficult to obtain in some states due to not being able to retain seeds. This causes farmers to rely on the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for their supply. HB170, however, would not require growers to get federal permission to cultivate hemp in the state.
In northern New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a measure permitting hemp producers to partner with colleges and universities in a research pilot program. The article published on Watertowndailytimes.com also mentioned that the development of a hemp processing facility in upstate New York could expand business opportunities for the people in the region. “Northern New York has two key components that fit well with hemp production. First, the amount of fertile land that we have to grow the crop and, second, the close proximity to a major transportation artery. The St. Lawrence River serves as a gateway to allow for the flow of goods coming and going from the Great Lakes and the Atlantic. Hemp production in Northern New York has the potential to serve as an economic propellant that can revitalize the economy of this area. The biggest industry in Northern New York is agriculture. By harnessing and tapping into this idea, we can strengthen our economy and create jobs.”