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The Associated Press

Associated Press

Eau Claire Reader Telegram. August 15, 2022.

Editorial: Hemp production is an interesting option for Wisconsin

also has many meanings. We see this as a potential winner for the state.

As most people know, hemp is the same basic plant as marijuana. But industrial hemp contains much, much less THC. You can probably smoke it, but even a joint the size of a phone poll will cause more headaches than elation.What hemp has is great industrial flexibility.

Plant oils and fibers have multiple potential uses. The fiber is famous as a rope, but it can also be used to weave cloth and make paper. There is talk of using the fast-growing crop as animal feed, which is still illegal at this time.

Hemp was once a major cash crop in the United States. It was cultivated by some of the Founding Fathers, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison.

It was so important that in March 1846 the House of Commons ordered the Secretary of the Navy, George Bancroft, to report: And the growth of which country and the amount obtained from each country. Different qualities or classes of hemp and the price paid for each. Who you purchased from and how you purchased it. Also, what steps has the department taken to implement laws establishing hemp distributors in Kentucky and Missouri.

It was to see if the United States could produce enough hemp to fully meet the Navy's needs. It concluded that the country could possibly stop buying from foreign countries.

Why was the Navy so worried about hemp rope? It means good. very good. Ropes made from hemp withstand nautical environments better than ropes made from cotton or other plants.

The Philippines has always been an important source of hemp for the United States, which became a serious concern during World War II. We released a short film to boost our growing volume in the US. You can watch it today on YouTube.

Today the Navy uses less hemp, less carrier rigging, but still needs mooring lines and tow ropes. So does the Japan Coast Guard. There is good enough need that calling hemp rope a national security issue is nothing special.And China may not currently have the ability or interest to successfully invade the Philippines. But it certainly has the potential to disrupt Pacific shipping.

Beyond ropes, the potential uses for plants are as diverse as ever. There are good reasons other countries continue to produce hemp on an industrial scale, and good reasons for the United States to consider doing so.

The push is also particularly new. Not a thing. The 2018 Farm Bill required the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop regulations to oversee hemp production.The final rule will be issued in March 2021. State Departments of Agriculture or federally approved tribal governments can submit production plans for federal consideration.

As these programs evolve, it seems likely that companies will begin developing new support lines to address specific goals. Hemp can be patented as well as these products, not much different from how corn is treated.

We are still in the early days of the resurgence of the U.S. hemp industry.We currently have pilot plots in Buffalo, Monroe and Chippewa counties, and Wisconsin will continue to grow in the Midwest over the next few years. We are poised to participate in multiple state studies that could go a long way toward establishing hemp for use.

It will be interesting to see the industry mature nationally. Wisconsin has a good chance of being among them, which would be a welcome boost to state agriculture.