Marijuana and hemp have been the subject of controversial discussion for years now. While clear to some, the differences between psychoactive marijuana and industrial hemp are blurred for many. This can be especially confusing in states where stigma around the cannabis plant remains prevalent. Omaha drug lawyer Daniel Stockmann has made it a priority to be thoroughly educated on drug laws and attitudes toward the cannabis plant and its varieties, making him an asset to the citizens of Nebraska. When it comes to hemp, Stockmann and others are well versed on how the stigma of marijuana has affected production of this industrial product.
Hemp vs Marijuana
Much of the controversy over hemp production may be attributed to confusion over the word. According to Leafly, hemp is one of many varieties of Cannabis sativa L. It is different from marijuana in that it is non-psychoactive, containing less than 1% THC. Hemp crops consist primarily of male plants, which differs from crops grown for recreational marijuana. Marijuana growers need unfertilized female plants in order to produce buds and flowers that contain high concentrations of THC. A fertilized cannabis plant will not result in high levels of THC. Thus, marijuana can be considered the psychoactive variety of cannabis and hemp the non-psychoactive variety. As one of the oldest domesticated crops in the world, hemp has long been used for producing materials such as rope, sails, and clothing. It is even used today in the production of cosmetics, fiberboard, plastics, and more.
The History of Hemp in the United States
In America in the 17th century, government strongly encouraged the production of hemp. At the time, the industry was booming. After the Civil War, other domestic materials and imports began to replace hemp and the industry started to dwindle. For many years hemp was not a popular product in America. However, during World War II, the U.S. Department of Agriculture helped boost production of the plant in a program encouraging farmers to grow hemp crops. The “Hemp for Victory” program helped supply the military with many necessary supplies.
Hemp Production Today
The production of industrial hemp in modern times has been stunted due to the stigma around marijuana. In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act classified all forms of cannabis as a Schedule I drug. This meant that it was illegal to grow in the United States. Though illegal to grow, the U.S. could import hemp from other countries as long as it was tested for extremely low levels of THC. The hemp industry has since struggled due to this prohibition and many people have forgotten the plant’s uses and versatility. As a result, the marijuana stigma grew to include hemp as well.
Eventually, the Agricultural Act of 2014 was passed to allow state departments of agriculture to produce hemp for “limited purposes.” This meant that industrial hemp could be cultivated for agriculture or academic research in accordance with state legislation. In 2015, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act was introduced in order to remove hemp from the federal government’s list of controlled substances as long as it contained no more than 0.3% of THC. Since then, many states – including Nebraska – have passed legislation to cultivate industrial hemp.
Contact Omaha Drug Lawyer Daniel Stockmann
Regardless of Nebraska’s steps toward state cultivation of industrial hemp, the stigma surrounding marijuana in the state continues to show its effects. Medical and recreational marijuana still remain illegal. For this reason, it’s important to have a trusted guide on your side if you should ever face legal trouble regarding drug charges. Call Omaha drug lawyer, Daniel Stockmann, whose extensive knowledge of cannabis, drug laws, and legal proceedings is sure to help you make the best of your situation. If you or someone you know can use legal advice, fill out the free case evaluation form on this page or call (844) 906-0641 today.