The USA’s National Hemp Association (NHA) and its Standing Committee of Hemp Organizations (SCOHO) has its cap out for a billion-dollar amendment to the pending House Budget Reconciliation measure.
The NHA and organizations comprising SCOHO represent more than 90% of licensed hemp farmers across the USA.
The NHA says the cash it’s chasing is essential for acceleration of hemp fiber and grain production as vital infrastructure is needed to build reliable supply chains after eight decades of prohibition. Planting and growing hemp was prohibited in the USA in 1937 and officially banned in 1970 under the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) when it was unfairly lumped in with its intoxicating cousin, marijuana.
It wasn’t until 2018 under that year’s Farm Bill hemp was finally once again recognised as an agricultural crop. It was great turn of events, but decades of innovation and opportunities had been lost – opportunities that could help address some of the most challenging problems humanity faces.
Among the items in the funding request:
• $100M each for 4 regional super sites to be located in Oregon, Michigan, New York, and Florida.
• $120M for historically underserved farms
• $380M divided according to hemp farm calculations
• 10% of allocated funds for state Departments of Agriculture to use to support their hemp programs
• Departments of Agriculture to distribute remaining funds up to $3M per entity for the purchase of equipment involved with cultivating, harvesting or processing hemp.
In the appeal, the letter requesting the funding states:
“Our industry is nascent but can achieve the greatness of other agricultural crops, and perhaps more still, given parallel levels of support to create infrastructure and develop markets.”
NHA Chair Geoff Whaling said hemp could also be at the forefront of efforts to tackle climate change, helping to not only clean the soil and air; but also creating jobs in the process.
“With the right investment in infrastructure hemp will become America’s Next Natural Resource,” he said.
To discover more about some of the many applications for this crop, check out HG’s industrial hemp guide.