Some farmers want to grow industrial cannabis but introducing a non-native species into habitat where it would compete with short grass prairie is counterproductive to rewilding efforts. Hemp is illegal partly because it’s a noxious weed prone to overrunning habitats where native grasses are facing a sixth mass extinction created by the Anthropocene.
“We’re sort of piggybacking onto that as our first foray into working on hemp,” said John McKay, associate professor of plant evolutionary genetics in CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences. “The Colorado Department of Agriculture worked with the researchers in Europe as well as negotiated with federal agencies to import the seed on our behalf. “So it is unlikely that millions of acres of hemp will be grown for textiles anytime soon,” he said. [CSU researchers test hemp’s heartiness in US]Hemp was imported by Europeans during colonization but cotton is native to the New World. Feral hemp grows in ditches from South Dakota to Logansport, Indiana and beyond.
That industrial cannabis is being heralded in Indian Country as an economic development initiative remains a mystery. Cannabis grown under organic specs in controlled environments for casual enjoyment is where the profits reside to reverse the effects of colonialism and not in wholesale habitat destruction.
The guy who taught me to build bicycle wheels in Missoula when we were introducing something called the mountain bike to the world told me that if you produce something people need you will get by but when you produce something people want you can get rich.
Commodities are for farmers who rely on federal crop insurance subsidies and not for entrepreneurs spending capital at their own risk. Expect vigorous discussions in legislatures that would allow genetically engineered hemp requiring tons of glyphosate and millions of acre/feet of water from dwindling aquifers while isolating tribal nations from the real cannabis industry.
It’s not a question of legalization so much as government getting out of the so-called War on Drugs. Why conservatives support the enrichment of drug kingpins like El Chapo and GlaxoSmithKline remains a mystery.
If red state attorneys general could find a federal judge to stop tribal nations from exercising their cannabis rights they would have done so by now. One Oklahoma lawgiver wants to stop tribal cannabis rights in that state even though Thomas Jefferson introduced the plant to Virginia tribes.
So, okay, farmers: let your corn ground laden with glyphosate go fallow for five years and see if you can get organic certification for your hemp crop.