A coalition of hemp farmers, farm service companies, processors, crop insurance agents and lenders, as well as other stakeholders, are looking at possibly establishing a trade association group. The Hagstrom Report says the goal is to have an organization that represents the hemp industry in Washington, D.C.
Hemp is currently used to make textiles, paper, paint, oil, biodegradable plastics, and many more items. The coalition is working with three veteran Washington lobbyists, including Scott Graves, Christopher Thorne, and Matthew Valesko.
“Hemp has enormous potential in the United States as a source of fiber, seed, and oil,” Graves says. “it’s a high-value crop that needs fewer inputs and fewer acres, and it’s resistant to both drought and cold.” The coalition notes that the 2018 Farm Bill “includes language permitting the growth of industrial hemp, but leaves it to each state to determine its own rules for cultivating, transporting, and selling hemp.
Graves adds, “There are estimates that the U.S. hemp market could double in the next five years, going from $800 million to nearly $2 billion,” Graves adds. “That would be a major shot in the arm for American farmers.”