How does the confusion between hemp and marijuana affect both markets?
The lack of education and differentiation between hemp and marijuana in the U.S. causes a lot of misunderstandings and inconsistencies in public behavior and purchasing patterns; mostly affecting the hemp market. Consumers simply do not have the confidence in what they are buying in the hemp market due primarily to inconsistencies in production and testing.
With hemp producers and transporters being arrested, and California hemp crops actually growing as THC, how are both markets affected by the ongoing confusion?
Anyone who grows hemp understands that they are growing something very profitable if you know what you are doing. It can also be a risky business. The current regulations do not allow for the hemp plants to be in the possession of farmers if they exceed the state and mandated levels of THC. That can put an owner of such a crop in direct violation of the local laws.
When you grow a plant with the intent to meet all state regulations, that will not guarantee that the plant will not grow defective. There’s still a chance that the hemp will test at 4 percent THC by value which is 1 percent more than the state allows. Now the livelihood in the field including the nutrients and the time that was put into the harvesting and producing of this plant is gone. By law, it needs to be fixed or the crop will be destroyed. As the laws are written currently, farmers are in violation if they are caught with plants testing above 3 percent. Some advocate allowing for hemp at a 1 percent legal dose. Anything below will be less, anything more will get destroyed. That will allow for more species of the plant and also allow farmers to grow it safely with more open parameters, rather than locking themselves into the 3 percent.
The bottom line is what the government is currently asking from farmers, they are not able to do themselves. The way the law is written, it’s written one-sided without a deep understanding of what the reality of manufacturing and supply chain is.
How can lawmakers determine what Is hemp and what is marijuana?
By federal definition, whatever has less than 3 percent THC is hemp and whatever has more than that amount is marijuana. Distinguishing them is not really difficult. You just have to look at the testing results.
Are there any solutions?
Constant consumer education to bring the public’s attention to the topic is the only way we know how to educate the consumer. The rest is going to take time. The different regulating agencies need to figure out their conversations among themselves and realize that maybe there’s a better way.
Serge Chistov is a cannabis industry expert and Chief Financial Partner with Honest Marijuana Co. Honest Marijuana has been a leader in cannabis innovation since it’s inception with an organic approach to the growth, production and packaging of cannabis, the launch of the first ever organic hemp wrapped machine rolled blunts, the invention of the now patented Nanobidiol Technology, and the first company to bring THC-O-Acetate technology and products to market.