Alabama Starts Receiving Hemp Cultivation Applications

CBD is, without a doubt, one of the most versatile medical treatments of the century. It has slowly been gaining approval among the public, who after experiencing the numerous benefits associated with the cannabinoid, have been quick to share and spread awareness on the compound. For a long time, the industry remained undeveloped primarily because CBD was classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, and it was illegal to handle it in any form. Not to mention the stigma that came with it due to its association with cannabis and its primary psychoactive agent, THC.

The Farm Bill of 2018 was a gamechanger. Under the bill, the cultivation of industrial hemp, from whence CBD is extracted, was legalized, deeming hemp an agricultural product. According to the bill, any part of the plant with less than 0.3% THC content, including derivatives, cannabinoids, and extracts is classified as hemp. With such a bevy of benefits attributed to it, CBD was bound to have an immense market seeking alternative treatments for conditions such as chronic pain, inflammations, and anxiety. So it is only natural that tons of sellers have flocked the industry. From farmers growing the raw material to processors who handle all the complex chemistry involved, everyone wants a piece of the cake, and the state of Alabama is no exception.

Last year, Alabama launched a hemp growing program with just over 200 farmers and this year, the state is looking to double that number. The crop has been stirring interest in the state, and some have been wondering whether hemp is well on its way to becoming Alabama’s new cash crop.  Agricultural Commissioner Rick Pate says that industrial hemp has a lot of uses. It could be used as a plastic alternative, and since it is biodegradable, it will actually help reduce plastic pollution, especially in the water.

Alabama residents hoping to become hemp farmers will have to pay a $200 application fee. You’ll also have to undergo a criminal background check, and anyone with a drug-related felony within the last ten years will be disqualified. Those who qualify will have to pay a location fee of $1,000. The program is open to growers, processors, handlers, and universities, and applications will be accepted through November 14.

Arguably, being closely related to marijuana has been hemp’s primary adversary. Most people don’t know about all the cannabinoids found in the plant, most especially THC and CBD, and their differences. Getting people to believe that CBD is non-psychoactive and won’t get you high is a tall task. The lack of sufficient scientific research on its efficacy and side effects doesn’t make it easier. The Farm Bill of 2018 was a massive step in countering this and allowing consumers and sellers alike to exploit the product. Experts believe hemp industry actors like Therma Bright Inc. (TSX.V: THRM) (OTC: THRBF) and Wildflower Brands Inc. (CSE: SUN) (OTCQB: WLDFF) are looking to do just that.

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