CANADA: Canada legalized hemp sixteen years ago. So while the conversation in the U.S. currently focuses on legal issues, our neighbor to the north anxiously waits to talk business.
The 2014 farm bill allows for the farming of hemp where state laws have legalized the crop. Colorado, Kentucky, Indiana and Maine are early leaders among U.S. cultivators. Nebraska just passed a law that will open the state’s farm acres to the crop. The plant lacks the intoxicating compounds found in its cousin marijuana. It’s mostly grown for its fibers and seeds and has been touted as a miracle crop by proponents.
At a recent hemp conference in Adams County, Colo., farmers weighing their chances with hemp got a look at what a legalized industry might look like. Kevin Greenwood, one of the conference’s top-billed speakers, spoke with prospective hemp growers about his company, Manitoba Harvest, which makes foods that contain hemp.
Cross-border cooperation could jumpstart the American hemp industry, Greenwood said. His presentation is part sales pitch. If and when the legal issues get ironed out, he says, Manitoba Harvest will be first in line to buy American grown hemp.