Compiled by Natalie Kra
It’s been a memorable year for the hemp industry; from FDA’s continued objection to allowing the sale of hemp-derived CBD in supplements and foods, to the application of regenerative agriculture to cultivation, there have been both challenges and triumphs shared by the industry. Let’s Talk Hemp has carefully covered the continually evolving hemp landscape and these 10 stories in particular drew the most attention from the LTH community in 2021:
10. FDA Objects to CBD Being Sold as a Dietary Supplement; Industry Leaders Speak Out
Despite months of diligent communications with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the submission of volumes of data demonstrating the safety and efficacy of full-spectrum, hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD), the FDA rejected two New Dietary Ingredient notification (NDI or NDIN) applications for CBD submitted by pioneering CBD brand Charlotte’s Web and leading natural supplement brand Irwin Naturals. The decision casts a continuing cloud of uncertainty over the market for dietary supplements and functional food and beverage products made with hemp-derived CBD.
9. U.S. Hemp Entrepreneurs Face Account Turbulence from Big Banking
The U.S. banking industry has been skittish with hemp since before the 2018 Farm Bill that removed the crop from the list of controlled substances and put it under the oversight of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.
8. As Lumber Prices Surge, Hemp Blocks Get a Closer Look
The cost of U.S. construction timber is skyrocketing, and a national concern is growing for the carbon emitted by the construction industry. As a result, homebuilding solutions that don’t require framing timber, or need less of it, are getting a second look. One solution is the hemp-lime block.
7. Hemp Bioplastic Research Awaits Stable Supply Chain, Economic Feasibility
From guitar picks, to 3D printing filament, to plastic dog throwing disks, prototype products made from hemp are showing the world the potential of industrial hemp in bioplastics. Scientists like Chad Ulven, a professor of mechanical engineering from North Dakota State University, are experimenting with more hemp-based composites for varying applications but Ulven says the supply chain for hemp processing is not strong enough to reliably get his company the materials they need.
6. Endocannabinoid System: The Plot Thickens
One of Israel’s leading cannabinoid researchers, Dr. David (Dedi) Meiri, stated at the 2018 Cann Med conference that his lab has identified at least 120 endocannabinoids. Since the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, researchers have shifted their focus from creating synthetic versions of the various constituents of cannabis to finding ways to manipulate the endocannabinoid system to treat disease.
5. Canadian Company Plans ‘Showcase’ Hemp Homes Community in Northwestern Colorado
A publicly traded Canadian hemp company plans to build communities of 50 -100 modestly priced hemp homes in northwestern Colorado per year, with two demonstration homes being built this year. Homes will be constructed of hemp materials including prefabricated 12-foot hemp panels and hemp blocks, developed and supervised by master hemp builder Gabriel Gauthier.
4. Hemp Textile and Apparel Industry Ready to Grow, Expand Reach
Today, as regulations on hemp farming change to allow growing and processing of Cannabis sativa (with THC and cannabinoids under a threshold) as hemp, textiles and apparel are back on the radar throughout the textile supply chain. The Global Industrial Hemp Market Report and Forecast 2021-2026 by Expert Market Research estimated a value of USD 4.7 billion for the global industrial hemp market in 2020.
3. From the Farm: How Regenerative Organic Agriculture is Growing in Hemp
Nestled atop the iconic Pocono Mountains sits Pocono Organics, a 380-acre farm in Long Pond, Pennsylvania, which has grown into one of the largest regenerative organic farms in North America, becoming the first source grower of Regenerative Organic Certified hemp in the world. Scientists and researchers believe that regenerative organic agriculture combined with growing hemp is a way to supercharge the beneficial effects of carbon capture and soil health.
2. Influencers and CBD: Be Careful What You Say
This Q&A provides a beginning overview of some do’s and don’ts when it comes to influencers and brand affiliates talking about products on the internet. As the Food and Drug Administration cracks down on medical claims made by CBD companies, hemp social media influencers must also watch how they promote hemp products.
1. NC Textile Industry is Ready For Hemp
The textile industry in North Carolina is on the rebound, just in time for a once-in-a lifetime introduction of a new textile fiber in the United States — industrial hemp. The textile supply chain from the “dirt to the shirt” involves growing and harvesting fiber plants, like cotton and hemp, and then a chain of steps including ginning, spinning, knitting, finishing, cutting, sewing and dyeing.
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