Civilizations have used hemp for centuries to produce a variety of goods including paper, cloth, and rope. Hemp is the same species of plant as marijuana, just a different cultivated variety of it. As a result, following the criminalization of marijuana, hemp cultivation faded in the United States. In fact, the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 included hemp within the definition of “marihuana,” effectively outlawing the production of hemp without a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) permit.
U.S. hemp sales could increase as much as $25 million in 2020 and by more than $100 million by 2022, according to new estimates by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Technology powered by artificial intelligence (AI) has quickly evolved in traditional indoor agricultural production in recent years, as companies use the vast amounts of data produced in their operations to make better production and management decisions.
Farmers will be required to grow at least 1,000 plants on a minimum of a quarter acre, according to Ohio Department of Agriculture regulations approved in December. In addition, farmers will have to pay a proposed $100 application fee to be licensed to grow hemp and an additional $500 fee for each growing location.
The US defines industrial hemp as cannabis sativa plants containing 0.3% or less THC. Any higher than that, so to speak, and the plants are considered marijuana, which is federally outlawed. Before 2015, hemp was virtually nonexistent in terms of US agriculture, because the Controlled Substances Act lumped it along with all cannabis plants (also known as marijuana) in 1970 as a Schedule I substance with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
In November 2018 the Home Office guidance said UK farmers could not harvest hemp flowers for cannabis oil, or CBD, but could continue to grow seed and stalk.