Industrial Hemp Production 101 Guide (2019)
- Anna Sanderson
Industrial Hemp is an emerging crop and is growing in popularity.
Hemp is a valuable oilseed crop grown for its grain. It is historically dioecious (separate male & female plants). Hemp varieties have exhibited considerable differences in height, maturity and seed size.
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What is the difference between industrial hemp and marijuana?
Industrial hemp and marijuana are varieties of the same plant, Cannabis sativa L., which developed due to selective breeding.
Hemp was bred for its fiber and seed oil. Marijuana was bred for its psychoactive properties. By both federal and state law, industrial hemp must contain less than 0.3 percent THC on a
dry weight basis.
The plant family Cannabaceae, that contains both industrial hemp and marijuana, also includes the hops plant which is used in the brewing process.
Is growing industrial hemp legal in the United States?
Yes, under certain conditions. Unlike marijuana, which is still illegal under federal laws, industrial hemp has been given a narrow legal approval under the 2014 Farm Bill which states:
“…an institution of higher education…or a state department of agriculture may grow or cultivate
industrial hemp if…the industrial hemp is grown or cultivated for purposes of research conducted under
an agricultural pilot program or other agricultural or academic research…”