Is Smokable Hemp the Next Big Thing in Kentucky?

Hemp is undoubtedly one of the most versatile cash crops being grown at the moment. It has plenty of applications ranging from fiber clothing, industrial foodstuffs, beauty, and health. Over the past few years, it has become an increasingly attractive venture, mainly carried by the immense popularity for hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) that’s currently taking the world by storm.

The cannabis extract has proven to be as equally versatile as hemp. It has potent medicinal properties that make it effective against a host of medical conditions, from anxiety and high blood pressure to chronic pain. A trend that is quickly emerging is smokable hemp, and while states such as Indiana and Tennessee have already joined the bandwagon, Kentucky has been slow to react.

Smokable hemp consists of the hemp plant’s flower, and consumers smoke it to obtain the medical benefits synonymous with CBD. Joe Kirkpatrick, Tennessee Growers Coalition President, and Chief Lobbyist, says that a lot of people assume that anyone who uses cannabis just wants to get ‘stoned.’

“You smoke hemp for the benefits of CBD. I know a lot of people that are using it to replace tobacco, and why not use something natural with untold health benefits to stop something that you know will kill you?” he asks.

The Hemp Farming Act of the 2018 Farm Bill set legal distinctions between hemp and marijuana, with cannabis classified as hemp required to have less than 0.3% THC levels. Thus, cannabis classified as hemp will not give users the psychoactive ‘high’ marijuana is famous for. Despite this, law enforcement has been having a hard time differentiating between hemp flower and marijuana.

A few states, however, have quickly adapted and are allowing the smokable hemp market to grow. In Indiana, U.S. District Judge Sarah Evan Barker ruled in favor of the Midwest Hemp Council and seven state hemp wholesalers who had sued the state over its September ban of smokable hemp.

“Law enforcement’s confusion over hemp versus marijuana doesn’t mean states can consider some forms of hemp a controlled substance. The fact that local law enforcement may need to adjust tactics and training in response to changes in Federal law is not a sufficient basis for enacting unconstitutional legislation.”

According to Kirkpatrick, smokable hemp is also more profitable to the farmers. Smokable hemp flower sells for higher prices with the farmer making anywhere from $80 to $180 a pound for flower compared to the $25 they get for the biomass that CBD is derived from. Although smokable hemp requires more manual labor, the margins more than make up for it.

“A market is being lost,” he says. “America has the best farmers in the world, and if anyone can dominate a space globally through hemp, it is our farmers.”

It is such hopes of great things to come that experts believe hemp companies like No Borders Inc. (OTC: NBDR) and Neutra Corp. (OTC: NTRR) derive their motivation to keep developing new products to address the evolving needs of consumers.

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