Monday, May 11, 2020

It's taken a life time... the USDA has approved Mass farmers to grow hemp

For many of our regular readers, you may recall my 3 decades long effort to end the prohibition of industrial hemp in Massachusetts. I wish my friend Chris Walsh were here to see this. He had the insight and courage to put forward my Mass Hemp Farm Bill more than a decade ago. Much has changed since then, the federal 2018 Farm Bill, along with the attitudes and opinions from our elected elite and the green movement, all contributed to changing the laws surrounding hemp.

So as of today, farmers can plant approved hemp seed, harvest the plants, process and extract many of it's parts to make all kinds of natural based products, like food, paper, clothing, cosmetics, CBD products, oil and dozens of all natural products. 


https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/MassachusettsHempPlan.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=HEMP_202020511_Daily

16 Comments:

At May 12, 2020 at 12:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what is the incentive for farmers to grow hemp? Is it used for anything made here in the US so they have a market to sell their product to?

 
At May 12, 2020 at 12:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right, are products made from hemp allowed to be made in the US or still banned? And if banned what do farmers do with the hemp they grow?

 
At May 12, 2020 at 1:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am curious if this would be an option for Eastleigh Farms instead of pot? Just curious

 
At May 12, 2020 at 1:24 PM , Blogger jim pillsbury said...

the big demand now is CBD which is already made in this country from locally grown hemp. The USDA permission will allow Mass farmers (small scale family farms)to bring their product to market here. This will also allow manufacturing and processing of hemp for all it's uses. When grown for seed and oil many types of food can be produced along with Hemp milk. Now that the USDA has approved Mass for growing, the demand for organic hemp products will increase with the amount of raw material available.
China has had a lock on the hemp market for many years because of our own government's war on hemp/marijuana almost 100 years ago. Farmers along with processors will need to find local sources to buy their raw material.This along with our short growing season will make it more difficult to compete with the other warm weather states. The estimates vary widely on price per acre from 2,500 to 50k. Like any new industry, it will take a few growing seasons to show it's full potential here in Mass.

 
At May 12, 2020 at 1:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does hemp need to be grown only indoors like pot or are there no restrictions on growing hemp? Is there a coalition here in MA where those interested in growing can get answers to questions, like where do I get seeds, and how do I harvest, and how do I bring the project to market, as well as what type of return can I expect on my investment?

 
At May 12, 2020 at 1:35 PM , Blogger jim pillsbury said...

no hemp products are banned anywhere now.

Eastleigh Farms is already locked into growing cannabis to save the farm from cluster housing. The amount of space that the grow will take from the farm is minimal. I'm not familiar with the land but suspect there's plenty of tillable land to farm hemp as well as long as it's far away from the marijuana growing facility. You don't want the pollen from hemp anywhere near marijuana plants... it will ruin the marijuana crop.

 
At May 12, 2020 at 1:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh boy I think you just gave all those reefer madness people a reason to grow hemp Jim

 
At May 12, 2020 at 2:01 PM , Blogger jim pillsbury said...

I can't answer all the questions but offer this advice.
This web site is very informative and from 2019... https://www.fortunahemp.com/average-roi-of-hemp-biomass-per-acre/
Google "what is hemp worth" and you see pages of articles published from around the world.
Like any other farming today, it's all about the land.. if you have some already or not.

these are three sites you could get more up to date info on hemp.

hempindustrydaily.com

www.hempbizjournal.com

https://hempindustrial.com

 
At May 12, 2020 at 2:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does hemp have any high associated with it?

 
At May 12, 2020 at 2:18 PM , Blogger jim pillsbury said...

industrial hemp seed has a limit of .03% THC...the high modern day marijuana plants have between 15 and 25% THC.

the only hemp seed one can buy and plant today is .03%
the mature hemp plants are tested for THC and if it's found to be above .03% it is deemed unacceptable and destroyed.

these are the USDA/Mass Agriculture regs.. 49 pages of bureaucratic cow pies
https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/MassachusettsHempPlan.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=HEMP_202020511_Daily

 
At May 12, 2020 at 2:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

BS. This is a pot plant no matter what you call it. Why else was growing this restricted?

 
At May 12, 2020 at 2:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where do I buy hemp seed if I wanted to dive into this industry? Do I need a permit that I have to pay lots of money for to grow a couple of acres of this?

 
At May 12, 2020 at 3:21 PM , Blogger jim pillsbury said...

hemp was stopped in 1937. Back then, industrialists like DuPont who made bleach and polymers for plastic, and Randolph Hurst who owned most of the newspapers in this country and the Rockefeller's who owned most of the oil companies, had friends in the what is now known as the DEA waged a propaganda war against hemp and those workers who worked in the fields who were mostly Mexican's and Blacks. Hemp was and is still today, a plant that can compete with many industries, like paper, oil and plastics. The only reason we had hemp prohibition was the fact that hemp was and still is a plant that can compete with all industries that pollute or damage our planet.

the above web sites are a good place to start to find seeds. Have a look at the State web site for details on how to apply for a permit. It's only 100.00 dollars for a grower.

 
At May 12, 2020 at 3:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the ropes on ships were originally made of hemp. Them the federal government got involved to say the plastic industry, and the only way to forbid selling hemp was to lie and say it was the same as pot. Our federal government did not start lying when Trump was elected, it has been lying to us for a very long time. We here in the US missed an opportunity to lead on hemp products but now the market is flooded with them and we will have to play catch up here. Glad to see it has been approved to grow, but angry that it took so long for that to happen, and it only happened because of regular citizens, like Jim, who took a stand and wrote the MA Hemp bill in order for this to happen.

 
At May 12, 2020 at 4:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So is this really a viable option to start a small business on a few acres (5) of land or do you need a lot of land to make any money doing this?

 
At May 12, 2020 at 4:33 PM , Blogger jim pillsbury said...

5 acres is big enough to make a living imo. There's lots to consider... and security is a big issue. Female hemp plants look and smell just like pot plants and ignorant thieves think they may be stealing pot, until they try to smoke it.
Farming anything by nature is risky and weather dependent as well, but by all indications, on the CBD side, you have 1,000 to 1,600 plants per acre, planted and tended to as separate plants. Traditional hemp, grown for mass market products such as textiles and bioplastics, has a planting rate of 400,000 per acre (roughly 100 plants/square meter), and is drilled in like wheat.
NY State is gearing up to be a major player in Hemp with processing and extraction capabilities. UConn at Storrs has a plant that takes hemp oil and converts it to biodiesel.

 

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