Says Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA):
Deregulation is code for ‘let the rich guys do whatever they want’ … The Trump administration and an army of lobbyists are determined to rig the game in their favor, to boost their own profit, the cost of the consumer be damned.
But deregulation opens markets to competition because existing regulations protect existing businesses from competition. And competition brings more choices with many price points.
Hemp was deregulated in December, 2018 as part of the Farm Bill. It was removed from the list of controlled substances. Existing businesses operated in regulated markets, illegally — so strict were the regulations that the product was banned.
Hemp’s return to farm fields this spring coincides with a surge in demand for cannabidiol, a derivative of hemp or marijuana that has become a popular additive in drinks, foods and dietary supplements. Proponents say it relieves anxiety, inflammation and other maladies without the psychotropic ingredient that delivers a high to marijuana users.
Farmers and processors believe growing demand for cannabidiol will turn hemp into a lucrative cash crop.
… Hemp flourishes in rocky soils inhospitable to other crops. It also represents a new potential revenue stream for tobacco farmers abandoning that crop. Other growers are eager to diversify away from mainstream crops after several years of low prices spurred by a production glut and trade tensions.
… Growers can earn $200 to $400 an acre growing hemp for use in textiles, plastics, insulation and construction materials, according to Rodale Institute, a farming research agency. Hemp grown for cannabidiol could earn farmers thousands of dollars an acre, according to the institute. Farmers earned net profits of around $11 per acre for soybeans and lost $62 for corn in 2017, federal figures show.
… Processors in the U.S. also are expanding. Folium Biosciences is building a $30 million, 110,000-square-foot hemp extraction facility in Colorado to increase its capacity 10-fold, said Chief Executive Kashif Shan.
Hemp regulations were bad for the economy, they did restrict freedom, and they made life harder for farm businesses. So Warren’s logic would only make sense to someone smoking a big, greasy cigarette of hemp’s sister species.