Hemp acreage has gone from 7,000 acres in 2015 to 27,000 to 78,000 in 2017 to an eye-popping half a million acres after the 2018 farm bill was passed. The ensuing glut has scaled back many farmers’ plans even while more farmers chase the gold ring—but the bigger problem remains intransigence by the FDA and USDA, which seem to be doing their drug warrior best to keep the hemp market from reaching full potential. Natural Products Insider senior editor Todd Runestad sat down with Rick Trojan, president of the Hemp Industries Association, to talk about a wide-ranging number of hempy topics, including:
- Are we in Bustville? Too much USDA opposition making farmers felons, too much FDA creating fear around CBD, too many farmers getting in too fast and driving down the price?
- How institutional racism figures into the history of hemp (it’s not a pretty sight, and it will open your eyes). #BLM
- Is the main challenge to hemp how potentially disruptive it is to various pre-existing industries? Are you up for the legislative and cultural fight to put more money in the pockets of farmers and rural communities rather than large corporations?