The continued expansion of legalized marijuana in states is leading to one surprising result: overproduction of cannabis. Oregon in particular is reporting an excess in cannabis production, which is driving down the price of marijuana at dispensaries across the state, according to Associated Press. As a result, growers are exploring more options, including hemp (a low-THC strain of cannabis used in industrial goods) and CBD oil (made from the non-psychoactive compound in marijuana, cannabidiol).
It’s hard not to recognize the irony in this latest advancement: while hemp is a benign, useful resource that makes excellent, durable fabric, paper products, and oils, it was marijuana that helped usher it back into the spotlight. Marijuana has now been legalized in 29 states and Washington, D.C., at least for medical use with a handful also allowing recreational. This is in defiance of federal regulations prohibiting the sale or use of marijuana. California was the first to allow medical use with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. It wasn’t until 2014, however, that the Agricultural Act, Sec. 7606 allowed agricultural departments and higher learning institutions to start cultivating hemp for research. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) recently spoke in favor of a bill that would give power over hemp regulation to the states. Continue reading