Thanks to a provision in the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is no longer a federally illegal controlled substance in the Unites States. The passage of the Farm Bill allows farmers and cultivators to grow the once demonized cannabis plant and even restart long forgotten operations.
As it turns out, legally allowing farmers to grow the plant and sell it to processors is having a massive effect on employment in the United States, across multiple sectors. The hemp industry took in $1.1 billion in revenue in 2018 and is on track to more than double that in 2022, with $2.6 billion in revenue, according to New Frontier Data.
The effects of the hemp boom will be felt far from the agriculture fields and even the hemp processors, with job growth expected in the form of “accountants, lawyers, compliance officers, government regulators, IT specialists, financial and insurance experts, transporters, researchers and lab technicians, marketers, CFOs, CEOs and various retail employees,” according to CNBC.
“Job creation is going to happen in every economic bracket,” said the executive director of the DC-based National Hemp Association, Erica McBride Stark.
“The hemp industry will create high-skilled management jobs, labor-type jobs and everything in between. It’s going to touch all of society.”
Stark recently returned from the 6th annual NoCo Hemp Expo in Denver, Colorado. More than 225 exhibitors and 10,000 attendees were present—twice the size of last year’s gather.
Indeed, the online job listing search engine, reported an increase in job openings in hemp-related industries this year and HempStaff has seen hemp related jobs double in the last year.
And while hemp is federally legal in the United States, only 41 states allowed the cultivation of hemp as of February and only 24 states had farmers actually growing it last year, which means there is plenty of room for growth and expansion. According to NBC, “Total hemp acreage in the U.S. was at 78,176 acres, up from 25,713 in 2017,” with the average increasingly considerably over the next few years.
It should be noted, too, that despite hemp’s new federal status, the Farm Bill stipulates that individual states can choose to establish their own agriculture and commerce programs, or not. As of February, 41 states allowed cultivation of hemp for commercial, research or pilot programs, although only 24 states had farmers actually growing hemp last year.
While hemp can be used for a wide variety of things including textiles, building materials, and food, the primary focus and most trending use of the plant is for producing CBD oil. CBD oil is made from the flowers, buds, and seeds of the hemp plant.
CBD oil is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid found in cannabis plants. It has been shown to aid users in treating anxiety, arthritis, pain, depression, and more and is being used with increasingly frequency to relieve pain associated with cancer and cancer treatment and in an attempt to treat the cancer itself.
In 2018 alone, CBD-containing products generated $390 million in sales in the U.S. and that number is predicted to reach $1.3 billion by 2022.
Presently, an epilepsy drug called Epidiolex is the only CBD product approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration even though a wide array of CBD products are available online and over-the-counter at mainstream stores like Walgreens, CVS, and Bed Bath and Beyond. The FDA is still finalizing regulations associated with those products and has a public hearing scheduled for May 31 in Silver Spring, MD.
According to the FDA, the agency is “concerned” about the rapid increase in CBD-containing products “marketed for therapeutic or medical uses.”
“The agency has and will continue to monitor the marketplace and take action as needed to protect the public health against companies illegally selling cannabis and cannabis-derived products that can put consumers at risk and that are being marketed for therapeutic uses for which they are not approved. At the same time, FDA recognizes the potential therapeutic opportunities that cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds could offer and acknowledges the significant interest in these possibilities.”
Despite the FDA’s concern, all signs point to a continued booming of the hemp industry, with CBD products leading the way. “Whereas legal marijuana is expansively regulated — from seed to sale, as they say in the cannabis world — hemp will enjoy less stringent oversight, since its no longer classified as a drug, potentially attracting a much wider variety of established and start-up companies,” reports NBC.
Joy Beckerman, president of the Hemp Industries Association, predicts:
“Hemp is going to dwarf marijuana for jobs. There are so many companies looking for people right now with industry experience and talent.”
“Hemp is here to stay,” said one farmer who transitioned 40 acres of his tobacco farm to hemp, “This is not some fad.”
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.