Hemp-derived product sales are expected to hit $1 billion by 2020, yet the U.S. farmers who are adding this valuable plant to their crop rotation are still denied crop insurance because of cannabis’ federal Schedule 1 status. But a bill introduced last year might change all that.
HR3530, or the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017, amends the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of “marihuana,” and for other purposes. Currently, the CSA excludes certain parts of the hemp plant, but does not exclude the entire plant, which means that hemp farmers abiding by state-sanctioned hemp programs are out of luck when it comes to getting insurance for their crop.
Spring Hope, North Carolina-based Hemp, Inc., partners with tobacco and other farmers throughout the state who are looking to introduce hemp into their crop rotation; many farmers across America are seeking new ways to keep the family farm profitable. The hemp crop can produce a profit margin four to six times that of tobacco in North Carolina, Hemp, Inc. executives say.