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How Hemp Farming Is Utilizing Engineering Technology to Conserve Resources

| 5/10/2019 11:58:00 AM

Hemp is an integral part of U.S. history: In the 1700s, farmers in many colonies were required by law to grow the versatile crop. The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper, and many of the nation’s founding fathers grew hemp, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. But in 1937, everything changed for the hemp industry.

That year, the Marijuana Tax Act was passed, which lumped hemp into the same category as its psychoactive cousin, marijuana. Both plants were strictly regulated and eventually classified as Schedule 1 narcotics, despite the fact that the hemp plant does not have psychoactive properties.

But in recent years, hemp production has made a dramatic comeback, and in December 2018, the plant was finally de-regulated as part of the 2018 United States farm bill. The bill removes hemp that contains less than 0.3% THC from the list of controlled substances and allows for the wide-scale production of industrial hemp.

spread of hemp leaves

Hemp’s new status as a potential cash crop is good news for farmers and environmental advocates alike. As it grows rapidly and can thrive even in poor soil conditions, the plant offers sustainable solutions and applications within a number of industries. Additionally, new farming technologies, including photovoltaic agriculture, can further expand the environmental and economic advantages of the hemp plant.

The Implications of Hemp Production

The versatility of hemp is somewhat unbelievable: The plant can be converted into biofuel, biodegradable plastic, clothing and paper fiber, and CBD oil, which is used to treat a number of medical conditions, including anxiety and depression. Hemp is also used as a food additive, as it’s rich in protein and amino acids and contains healthy fats.

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