The Effects of Cannabis Legalisation on Hemp Production

While high THC Cannabis is not yet legal at the federal level, increased activism has finally made hemp legal nationally as of Dec. 2018.  This is a huge win for hemp farmers and for sustainability as hemp is used to make a number of industrial products.  Previously growing hemp was often difficult as all strains of cannabis were made illegal in 1937.  Cannabis harvested for recreational or medical use means that simply the bud is harvested.  Of course there’s the rest of the plant. What can be done with the rest of the plant? Plenty, as the result of the plant is defacto indistinguishable from hemp. has information on the marketplaces for the stalks and other parts of the leftover cannabis plants and can directly connect with buyers.

The stalks can be used for a variety of physical products such as textiles, and various types of industrial uses.  Cannabis or hemp produces considerably more fiber per acre than cotton, and requires less fertiliser and water.  It’s much more environmentally sustainable to make clothes, shoes, and other garments from hemp.  The fibers from building materials are made from hemp.  Hemp is not only used to make imitation wood, it’s used to make flooring and even blocks used in construction.  Hemp fibers cemented with lime are very dense.  With the industrial uses of cannabis becoming more well known, the same farmers producing for recreational or medical purposes can ultimately also produce for industrial purposes and therefore earn additional income.  This even helps the public out as additional income will be taxes by governments, and can be spent on public services.

There are other major uses of hemp fiber that will continue to grow.  Deforestation to suit our huge demand for paper is a major problem. We will continue to need paper, however it takes quite a bit of time in order to grow trees big enough to harvest them for paper use.  Leftover cannabis stalks can be used to make paper. It’s much more efficient to use hemp/cannabis as the stalks can be harvested at the end of the season, as opposed to waiting for trees to mature in years.  Hemp stalks have higher celluose content, and so produce more paper per kilo than wood.  Some forms of paper, such as the paper used to wrap joints are already made from hemp and are widely used.  Other types of paper are less widely made from hemp as the industrial processes to make them are perfected. Wide scale hemp production just became legal in the United States in 2018, and of course it will take a few years to substantially switch things over.  But already there are companies selling printing paper made out of hemp, and other printed goods like postcards, brochures, etc are already made out of hemp. The huge new legal markets where cannabis is grown have lots of leftover stalk that can be used to make paper, and help save trees from being cut down.  This can also help combat climate change by reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Cannabis biomass can even be used to produce ethanol.  Celluosic ethanol is made from plant stalks such as corn, sugarcane, cannabis, and other remaining stalks from left over crops.  As cannabis is easy to grow and grows fast, it is a great source of celluosic ethanol. This ethanol can be used for industrial purposes, including the ethanol added to gasoline to fuel out cars.  Currently companies are using hemp to produce celluosic ethanol in Western Canada, the US, Brazil, and in other nations. The process is only just beginning. Cannabis legalisation has opened up a number of new products for widespread industrial uses by utilising the potential of the entire plant.  This research was made possible by Candid Chronicle.