Are We On The Cusp Of A Hemp Revolution?

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Firstly, greetings – this is Uncle Buccs, and this is my first blog post. I intend to utilize the blogging privileges granted by iBankCoin to post larger ideas that just don’t fit in a Tweet. I’ve been told (and agree) I’m random, and subject matter written about will be general at best when it comes to matters of finance and the markets.

One of the big headlines today was that eight ex-DEA chiefs were urging the U.S. Justice Dept. to nullify Colorado & Washington’s laws legalizing recreational use of marijuana. I find it somewhat laughable that the man pictured in the story, former DEA administrator Peter Bensinger, is the CEO of Bensinger, DuPont & Associates. A large portion of his company’s business is described as “Drug Testing Management”. That conflict of interest aside, my point is this: too much attention is being focused on the “party” side of the cannabis issue, and the benefit of legalizing the cultivation of hemp on U.S. soil is overlooked by many.

Hemp, which hasn’t been taken seriously in decades, is starting to gain some real attention in Congress. Support is now being shown by Democrats and Republicans alike. Surprisingly, while being illegal to domestically grow, sales of imported hemp have swelled to the tune of $450 million a year. That’s a relatively small sum, comprised in part by natural foods, textiles, and cosmetics, but real interest is developing.

Toyota has shown “potential interest” in hemp, and is already developing the ability to use hemp-like materials as insulation and in paneling. Lotus gave a really good look, a few years ago, of how hemp can be integrated into their automobiles. What’s really amazing is that Henry Ford was proving hemp to the world with his “Plastic Car” in 1941. It seems the ‘world’ wasn’t listening then, but the automotive industry is listening now, and could be a big potential consumer.

The construction industry is another area of growth for hemp. As it turns out, aside from the hemp fiber’s insulating properties, it’s also fire and termite resistant. You can see the a good example of what can be built here. Furthermore, hemp is renewable. This Associated Press video tells of how an entire home was built with hemp grown in three months’ time on “a few acres of land”.

The economic potential of hemp is real. How silly & wasteful it is that hemp can be imported, utilized, & consumed in the U.S., but not grown by American farmers? Hopefully our Congress can see the dollar signs that are there, and bring hemp cultivation back to the United States.

 

 

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