In South Dakota, hemp faces quite the challenge in shaking off its bad rap. It gets tangled up in conversations about its uses, whether that’s for making things, for grains, or for CBD oil, which comes from the same plant family as marijuana. Add to this the recent green light for medical marijuana and the ongoing talks about recreational use, and it’s easy to see why there’s confusion.
So, are hemp and marijuana the same thing? Nope, they’re not.
But let’s dive into the details.
How does hemp stand apart from marijuana? By the books, hemp is defined as a plant with 0.3% or less THC content, the stuff in marijuana that gets you high, as noted by the Purdue University Hemp Project. If marijuana is the high-causing cousin, hemp is its low-key relative.
The 2018 Farm Bill lays down the law here: any hemp that crosses the 0.3% THC threshold has to be destroyed by the farmer, as it’s considered outside the legal bounds.
What are the rules for growing hemp?
Whether you’re eyeing hemp for its fibers, grains, or CBD hemp creams, the rulebook is the same at both the federal and state level.
Wannabe hemp farmers need to get an industrial hemp license through the state. The deal includes background checks by state and federal officials for the applicant, key people involved, and the landowner, as per the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Got a history with marijuana or controlled substances in the past decade? That’ll be a no-go on your application. Once you’re over that hurdle, growers fork over $500 for a license, while processors are looking at a $2,000 fee.
Before harvest time, state officials check the THC levels in the fields to make sure they’re playing it by the book with the 0.3% limit. Stay under, and you’re golden. Go over, and it’s game over for those crops, with no crop insurance to fall back on in South Dakota.
Is there a difference between growing hemp for fiber and for CBD?
Absolutely. The Argus Leader points out that growing hemp for its fibers or grains is a whole different ballgame compared to cultivating it for CBD.
For starters, hemp for grain and fiber is planted much like wheat, crowded in at about 750,000 seeds per acre, showcasing just how varied the world of hemp farming can be.…