Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Case for Hemp

While I am not one to usually chime in on this, I would like to at least give a few words about the commercial potential for industrial hemp.

I myself was a user of pot, the kind you smoke to get “high”, but I have given that up in pursuit of more useful things, such as clear thought and persistent memory.  However over the years I have investigated and learned that there is great potential in industrial hemp.

With the spotlight currently on the proposals being presented by Colorado, Washington, and Oregon, as test cases for the medical use, and possible recreational use of marijuana, I thought I would again consider the potential for commercial production of industrial hemp.  Although there is greater potential for the production of medical marijuana, there is still exceptional value and potential in the production of industrial hemp.Simple Over Easy Hemp Shoes (Rock Grey) - Men's Shoes - 8.0 M (Google Affiliate Ad)

Although I would like to go into the whole debate, (not really) on the benefits of industrial hemp, the differences between the stuff grown for medical use, and the stuff grown for industrial use, and all of that ilk, I will not, it has been done to death at this point.  Maybe later I will provide a resource heavy article presenting all the evidence that is available pro and con the hemp debate in general, but for now, this is just a flash article about the potential for industrial hemp.

The reason I even considered the production of industrial hemp is the global potential for its use.  It is very versatile, even if you do not consider it beyond its core product lines.  First consider that hemp is nearly a perfect replacement for the cotton market.  Although not an actual replacement for cotton, hemp can be used as a very good replacement for most cotton based products.  It can be grown without the levels of pesticides and herbicides that are used on cotton, so it is much better for the environment.  That and it can be grown almost anywhere with far less tax on the land.  It does not deplete the soil as cotton does, and it does not need the levels of fertilizer that cotton does to produce at the levels that would be desirable to industry.  It could be the next industrial and agricultural revolution, sort of.

Okay, yes I agree that is a lot of statements that seem to have no basis in fact, and in some ways you are right.  They are based on basic beliefs I hold, because I have seen both products grown, and seen what it requires to do both, and that is mostly how I formed my opinions.  That is what I have, opinions.  If you disagree, so be it, maybe later I will provide a basis for more, but this article is just about my opinion on the potential for hemp production.

So that aside, I believe that if tomorrow NY State were to legalize the commercial growing of industrial hemp, I would be able to capitalize on it.  Given my knowledge of agriculture, my connections within the government, and knowledge of marketing, I could within two years create the hemp cooperative that would give NY State the jump on other states as the hemp capital.  How long they would be able to hold that title would be difficult to say, as many other states present much better potential with multiple season crops, and much larger tracts of land that could be dedicated to the industrial production of hemp.

If I knew that they were going to legalize hemp production, I could get the license in place, the contracts in place (most likely with cooperation with Cargill or ADM), and leases in place to get the land that could be put into production as soon as it was possible.  The difficult part is equipment of course, it would take a couple of years to get the equipment up to speed with the hemp production.  However I could make the current equipment work (with modifications) with the addition of manual labor.  With some quick action, I could get up and running very quickly and provide NY State not only with the jump on the Hemp market, but also a new revenue source, and employment, as I would also begin to build a local cooperative to get more farmers on board using their extra land for hemp production.
The first few years would be the best years, and once established the cooperative could then continue to compete.  What would also be needed would be the production facilities to process hemp products.  The fiber mills, the oil mills, and all the other areas that could be exploited from the plant, including oil derivatives, would continue to increase the potential for the hemp market, but also for the employment and tax basis.

This would work in almost every state in the union, and almost anyone could do it, but it would be a boon for current farmers, who are currently struggling to find ways to maintain their current lifestyle and culture.

I should state that I am definitely pro industrial hemp production.  I should also state that yes I could provide tons of research, from places like Cornell, and other land grant colleges, as well as industrial sources.  I could also provide historical references, such as requirements of the colonial farmers who were required to grow hemp as an agricultural product.  However that information is available everywhere, just do a search on the web.  Here I present my opinion and a brief view of what could be done in a relatively short time to turn NY agriculture around.  Yes I am partial to NY State, I live here, so why shouldn't I be.  This could be done anywhere, and although it should not be the one crop that takes all the glory, or be made the only crop that we as a country grow, it could make a huge impact in our agricultural and industrial contribution to the global market.  If we are once again be a factor in the global scale, we have to make the most of our potential for agriculture and industry, and hemp could be a big part of that.

That is my opinion, and of course I have planned on taking advantage of it if it comes to pass, so I have an invested interest in it.  I will of course provide a more in depth article with sources and supporting data, at some time in the future.  I may also provide some plans for capitalizing on the market if it does come that we can get this to pass.  I am not only person I am sure that knows the potential, and I think we are near that time when we need to consider the potential of industrial hemp seriously before it becomes some other countries industry.  Canada is already making efforts in this area, so we need to consider this, or consider that we will accept our consumer and service status, and forget agriculture altogether.

Well I have gone on about this for too long, and I will let you all get back to something more interesting, while I begin the work to bring you a more comprehensive article about the same thing, and begin looking into who is in this, and what it will take to get this done.  Kirsten Gillibrand you are in my sights here, so expect me to be in contact with you and your office, to see what it will take to get this done.  Thank you for reading, and as always, look for more of the same.

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