I grow premium marijuana indoors and outdoors.
In my refrigerator, stainless steel containers filled with Platinum Kush, Jack Herer, and Super Silver Haze share shelf space with nutritious, delicious hulled hemp seeds, and food-grade hemp oil.
Hemp seeds are the most efficient source of essential proteins and fatty acids. You could live a long time eating only hemp seeds!
I enjoy hemp shampoo, hemp massage oil, hemp clothing, hemp paper, and hemp candy bars.
And I believe that the cannabis plant should be totally legal.
Botanists will tell you that so-called hemp is just another genetic and agricultural variation of the cannabis plant, which is amazing in how it can be bred for different uses.
Hemp is a low-THC cannabis plant. Marijuana is a high-cannabinoid cannabis plant.
If you take so-called hemp seeds and breed them over time to select for high-cannabinoid percentages, you end up with marijuana plants, and vice versa.
It would be absolutely wonderful to see a thriving cannabis industry so cannabis farming and products replace products like paper, plastic, cotton, and concrete that are inferior to products made from cannabis, and produced in ways that harm the environment.
With legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, and legalization of medical marijuana in many other states, the U.S. federal government is being pressured to relax its long-time prohibition of hemp growing.
Any hemp product I’ve bought comes from hemp plants grown outside the United States, mostly in Canada.
But in 2013 for the first time, a few brave hemp farmers grew hemp outdoors in America, including a Colorado hemp farmer who successfully harvested a small industrial hemp field.
California, Colorado, and even hardcore prohibitionist states like Kentucky are petitioning the feds to legalize USA hemp cultivation.
Some members of Congress are trying to amend the Controlled Substances Act so “hemp growing” is legal in all 50 states.
In recent federal farming legislation, the federal government authorized hemp cultivation for “research purposes.”
As you’d expect, Colorado is at the forefront of hemp research and advocacy, and the state’s agriculture department has issued 110 permits for farmers to grow hemp.
In Kentucky, university researchers grew hemp at 15 different sites.
Vermont researchers have also grown hemp.
But when you look at what large-scale, nationwide hemp farming would do to our high-THC marijuana crops, you probably won’t be so enthusiastic about “hemp” legalization.
The first thing to know is hemp has almost no medical or recreational value like high-potency marijuana has.
Even when you extract the medicinal compound CBD from hemp, you find it’s an inferior process compared to if you were using real “drug” marijuana.
Some hemp has cannabidiol or cannabinol (CBD and CBN) which have medical effects if you harvest tons of hemp and extract the minuscule amounts of cannabinoid compounds found in hemp.
But you can’t get high or get medical relief smoking or otherwise ingesting a hemp flower or leaf on its own.
You just get a headache and a cough.
The second thing to know is if hemp plants are allowed to go male and release pollen, the pollen will fertilize and ruin our high-cannabinoid, seedless marijuana buds.
I have a close friend who cultivates cannabis in Spain and Portugal.
He reports that when the massive Rif Mountains Moroccan cannabis crop is in bloom, vast clouds of cannabis pollen travel across the water gap between Morocco and Europe and cause severe problems for outdoor cannabis growers.
The cannabis pollen clouds are so large they sometimes show up on weather radar!
“So what do you think is going to happen when ditchweed industrial hemp pollen rains down on marijuana plants in North America?” he asked. “Instead of seedless bud, you end up with seeded bud, and your high-cannabinoid genetics are trashed by hemp pollen.”
Industrial hemp farmers aren’t concerned about seedless marijuana buds or preserving the special, high-THC marijuana genetics that cannabis seed breeders have created in the past 30 years.
Some hemp farmers grow for seeds.
Industrial hemp pollen is going to be in the air, and will definitely pollinate marijuana and pollute the high-grade marijuana gene pool.
Outdoor marijuana growers who grow cannabis near Canadian hemp fields report harmful pollination from outdoor hemp plantations.
When you see anti-marijuana Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell pushing for hemp growing to be legalized in Kentucky, it’s logical to suspect he’s not sincerely trying to help would-be hemp farmers.
What they really want to do is pollute cannabis crops with hemp pollen.
As any serious marijuana grower knows, a little bit of pollen goes a long way, and in the case of outdoor hemp farming, it would go a very long way indeed… straight towards female marijuana plants.
Many hemp farming advocates are deliberately uncaring about the effects of hemp pollen on marijuana crops.
They put the burden on marijuana growers, advising us to grow indoors in sealed grow rooms with micron filtration to keep hemp pollen out.
Problem is, pollen gets through all but the most expensive filtration and sealed grow rooms.
And I grow marijuana outdoors, not just indoors in a filtered sealed grow room.
The bottom line is there are only two solutions acceptable to the marijuana industry when it comes to large-scale industrial hemp growing.
One strategy would be for the hemp industry to grow only feminized hemp crops that have no possibility of going hermie (hermie plants have combination male-female flowers that generate male pollen).
No pollen, no foul.
But here’s the good news. You can get all the benefits of industrial hemp, without wrecking marijuana.
Just legalize and grow high-THC cannabis nationwide.
The simple fact is that hemp plants are only good for industrial purposes and would harm marijuana crops.
But high-potency marijuana strains give you THC and all the other medicinal, spiritual, and recreational things we love about cannabis, and can also be used for anything industrial hemp is used for.
Why grow industrial hemp when you could grow high-potency marijuana and get hemp’s industrial products from it too?
Instead of legalizing industrial hemp and risking ruination of marijuana crops, let’s just legalize cannabis.
Because when you grow high-potency marijuana, you can have the rope, and the dope.