USDA Dismisses Hemp
WASHINGTON--The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) stated in a recent report that there is a limited demand for hemp and hemp products. Industrial hemp is a variety of the species Cannabis sativa L., which is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act.
The USDA report, Industrial Hemp in the United States: Status and Market Potential, estimated that the U.S. imported the equivalent of 5,000 acres of hemp fiber, yarn, fabric and seed in 1999. This leads to the possibility of oversaturating the market with hemp products. According to the USDA, uncertainty about long-term demand for hemp products, and the potential for oversupply in the small, thin industrial hemp markets, discounts the prospects for hemp to be an economically viable alternative crop for American farmers.
Mari Kane, a hemp activist and author of Hemp Pages, explained that the government only looked at the hemp textile industry and not hemp food products. "With the explosion of hemp foods on the market, hemp is a growing industry," Kane said. She added that hemp contains protein, and hemp oil has the same beneficial Omega-3 oils that are in fish.