INDUSTRIAL HEMP 1
Industrial hemp is a cannabis Sativa species that is grown forindustrial use. This plant is used for a variety of purposes due toits characteristics (Fine, 2014). To begin with, it is composed of arelatively lower amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and as such hasminimal psychoactive effects. In addition to this, it can be refinedinto various forms such as clothing, textiles, biodegradableplastics, paint and animal feed. Additionally, it is used in theproduction biodegradable plastics, biofuel, food and insulation.However, its legality will depend on government legislations. InCanada, the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, with the expresspermission of the Government of Canada regulates the industrial hempindustry.
Stringent rules have been implemented to govern the industrial hemp(Fine, 2014). The Office of Controlled Substances of Health Canadaregulates the commercialization of this commodity for the primarygoal of protecting the health and wellbeing of the Canadian citizens.The agency is also tasked with ensuring that Canada adheres to itsinternational commitment on illegal drugs by issuing licenses on allactivities related to hemp. The upper limit for THC in Canada is 0.3%of the weight of the leaves and the flowering parts. This isrelatively lower than the THC level of 5% or more as in the case ofmarijuana.
Manitoba Harvest is one of the companies that operate in theindustrial hemp industry. The company is focused on the production ofhealthy foods as a means of promoting healthy living among itscustomer bases. The product portfolio is divided into hemp hearts,hemp heart bites, hemp heart bar, hemp protein smoothie, and hempprotein powder and hemp oil. Some of the advantages of the productsaccording to the company are that not only do they have a great tastebut are also easy to use (Fine, 2014).
The main issue of concern has been in the production of theindustrial hemp and the role of both the governments and thecompanies tasked with the commercialization of the commodity. In theUnited States, the government imported more than $620 million worthof industrial hemp. However, if the Congress passed a bill that wouldallow the farmers to participate actively in the production process,the industry would benefit immensely from a relatively shorter periodof time. Based on the current analysis, each farmer would requireapproximately 30 pounds of seeds for a one-acre farm. In instances ofproper fertility, the yield during harvest would be 1000 pounds ofhemp. On the other hand, the standard fields were estimated toproduce between 800 and 900 pounds of hemp harvest. For the irrigatedlands, the outputs would be significantly higher at between 1300 and1500 pounds for the same piece of land.
Using the overall output of 1000 pounds, the harvest would be pressedculminating in the production of 200 pounds of oil and the remaining800 pounds of seed cake. 50% of the seed cake can then be utilizedinto various products such as food protein and the remaining fibersupplement to be employed in smoothies and baking. Other additionalproducts would be derived from the stalks of the crops. However, theproduction of such commodities would primarily depend on a variety ofthe hemp as well as the height of the crops. The stalks would weighbetween 1 to 1.5 tones. It can be decorticated into industrial fiberwhereas the hemp hurd is used in building materials such as hempconcrete.
Of the produce, 1000 pounds of seeds would earn a farmer $700 whereasthe stalks would fetch approximately $90. On the other hand, thenon-food grade would produce about $250 for every 1000 pounds ofseeds.
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Fine, D. (2014). Hemp bound: Dispatches from the front linesof the next agricultural revolution.
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