Usually plastic’s basic building block is petroleum-based cellulose. But hemp is perhaps the greatest cellulose producer on the planet. Hemp hurds – the inner core of the hemp stock – are comprised of as much as 85 percent cellulose. One of the world’s oldest crops, hemp was harvested by the Chinese 8,500 years ago. Hemp remnants have been found dating back 6 millennia (6,000 yrs.). The first hemp planted in the U.S. was in Jamestown, Virginia, where growing it was mandatory.
If maximizing CBD-rich oil output for product formulation is the objective and the best plant sources are federally illegal because of a minuscule amount of THC, then perhaps it’s time to call things by their real name. It’s not industrial hemp that’s growing when American farmers harvest their cannabis crops before full maturity to minimize THC content. These are high-resin, CBD-rich drug plants, albeit the non-euphoric kind—in essence, marijuana that doesn’t make you feel high. And marijuana is still prohibited under federal law.
The cannabis industry has been crossing lines.
Four states – Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska – and the District of Columbia, have legalized recreational and medical use marijuana for adults. Twenty more allow medical marijuana. Advocates believe at least eleven more states may legalize it soon.
By the end of 2016, the legal cannabis market could approach $9 billion, and an estimated $35 billion by 2020. With this explosive growth, the image of a marijuana business owner has evolved.
Instead of mainly hippy growers in Northern California, another reality has emerged – businessmen in suits gathering at conferences, discussing business strategies to help them succeed.
What spurred this transformation?
Hemp and cannabis originate from the same plant, but through breeding, evolution and hybridization, modern cannabis now comes from the plant Cannabis Sativa – a female, branchlike plant that grows up to six feet tall. Its dried flowers and seed pods produce marijuana. Hemp comes from the plant Cannabis Sativa L. (or Cannabis Indica), a tall cane-like plant that grows up to five meters (16 feet) tall. While cannabis is enjoyed for its medicinal, recreational or spiritual use by smoking its flowers, commercialized hemp uses the plant’s stalk, fiber and seed for textiles, foods, papers, body care products, detergents, building materials and other things. Its hard wooden core can even be used for carpentry!