Hemp on track for commercial production in 2020

            Iowa farmers may be testing out a new crop next year as restrictions against growing commercial hemp are lifted nationwide.

            While useful for its grain, seed, and fibers, hemp production in the United States has faced legal obstacles due to the plant’s other commonly known use as the drug, marijuana.

            The distinction between “hemp” and “marijuana” is an arbitrary one. They are the same plant, Cannabis sativa L., with the only difference being the concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on a dry weight basis. THC is the chemical compound produced by Cannabis responsible for giving users the high feeling that marijuana is known for.

            Legally, a cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC is considered hemp. A cannabis plant with more than 0.3% THC is marijuana, which remains illegal.

 

For the full story, see the Aug. 8th edition of the Monitor.