The use of hemp has the potential to have an extremely positive impact on many industries in the United States. The federal government, for many years, has made it impossible to utilize this widely diverse crop, even though it is entirely different from marijuana. North Carolina has recently legalized the cultivation and manufacturing of industrial hemp. This proves to be a huge win and game-changer for the future and legalization of industrial hemp in our nation.
One of the only hemp decortication plants in the United States resides in Spring Hope, North Carolina. This plant has been inactive for many years due to legal issues, but with the passing of a recent law legalizing hemp for industrialization, the plant will begin to process 40 million pounds of hemp each year. This will pave the way for many employment opportunities and the opportunity to set an example of the various benefits industrial hemp can provide our states and our nation as a whole. Decortication is the process of stripping back plant material from stalks, allowing the crop to be used for production. This will allow hemp to be turned into clothing, rope, fuel, jewelry, and much more.
On October 31st, 2015, Governor Pat McCrory passed Senate Bill 313. This bill allows farmers in North Carolina the opportunity to grow, process, and use hemp. This bill was passed by the House and Senate by a vote of 101-7 and 42-2 in September. This is a huge success in the state of North Carolina, and will provide many people with new jobs.
The United States is the number one importer of hemp products in the world because it has been illegal to grow within our own boarders. This means the United States has spent millions of dollars on importing a crop we could easily be growing on our own soil. The legalization of hemp will prove to be a valuable move with many economic and environmental benefits. Hemp can grow well in many parts of the United States and provide for a new local economy that will help both farmers and clients alike.
Hemp has many diverse uses: Rope, Paper, Clothing, Plastics, Building material, Cooking oil, Food, Medicine, Clean fuel, Weed control, Water and soil purification, Skin care products, Animal and bird feed.
The passing of Bill 313 can pave the way for the re-introduction of hemp as an industrial material that will have huge benefits for our economy.