Trump liberates hemp, but cannabis still illegal
In a landmark judgment that was largely contrary to common expectation, President Trump signed the revolutionary 2018 Farm Bill, making hemp legal in the country. The move to legalise hemp has been widely accepted, as legalisation now paves the way for researchers to understand the medicinal benefits of hemp. However, the legalisation of hemp does not mean that marijuana is also legalized in the U.S. Though both cannabis and hemp are different varieties of the cannabis plant, there is a vast difference between the two.
Both hemp and cannabis have created tension within the industry.
The THC difference
Hemp products in the recreational market cannot compete with marijuana products because of the significantly reduced quantity of THC. Though hemp is rich in CBD, it's not enough for some uses without the higher THC content. The maximum THC level in hemp is 0.3% compared to the 5-20% THC content in marijuana. In addition, the presence of CBD which is an antagonist to THC nullifies the 0.3% of THC present in hemp.
The usage difference
Marijuana’s psychoactive properties are often utilised, whether for medical or recreational use. On the other hand, hemp is used mainly for producing oils, food products, lotion, plastic, paper, and many other products. CBD has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-anxiety properties which is the reason hemp is now widely being used to produce THC-free products.
Hemp vs. Cannabis
Legalization of hemp – the right step forward
If predictions are correct, the legalisation of hemp is likely to become the gateway for the legalisation of cannabis at a federal level. It’s hoped that federal legislation will give rise to a regulated system where farmers can cultivate hemp on their field. With these aspects in mind, the days when marijuana is legalised appear to be drawing closer.
Sale of CBD in the U.S
Impact of Hemp on sales of CBD
The legal nod from the president of the U.S will finally revive the industrial hemp market after World War II. The step will offer high investment opportunities, and the market is expected to triple in the next few years. With legalisation, the U.S hemp industry will grow at a CAGR of 18.4% through 2018-2022.
Furthermore, according to research by Hemp Business Journal, the hemp-derived CBD market will grow from $390 million in 2018 to $1.3 billion in 2022, which is a whopping 27.5% CAGR for 5 years.
Also, in the coming years, the U.S. hemp market will expand and lead the industry worldwide by 2022, representing approximately 32% of the global $5.7 billion market. Before the passing of the Farm bill hemp-only products were expected to grow by $646 million, but after the passing of the bill, it will become a $1.3 billion market.
Make way for the legalisation of marijuana
Can Congress federally legalise marijuana before Christmas 2019? The historic legalisation of hemp is paving the way for the legalisation of marijuana in different states. It also shows that an increasing number of people understand the benefits of CBD and THC.
Furthermore, the market generated by hemp will force the government to think about legalizing the drug federally. With the passing of the farm bill, the groundwork for federal legalisation of cannabis products has already begun. Only time will tell whether the country approves the use of marijuana at a federal level. With odds in favor of supporting the product, the day may not be too far. The future of hemp is bright as it will generate more revenue and will open the door for legalizing cannabis federally.