Oregon Hemp farmers are looking forward to shipping and selling product in other states

For some farmers in Oregon, the nationwide legalization of hemp is great news because it means exporting product to a wider market. 

The Boring Hemp Company is one local business ready to jump on the opportunity. Barry Cook, one of the company’s owners, said allowing more people to grow hemp and export it legally will open many doors previously closed to farmers. 

Senator Jeff Merkley and Barry Cook of the Boring Hemp Company hosted a press conference Wednesday to celebrate the changes recently made to the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill.

Last month, President Trump made hemp legal in all 50 states. Hemp is now treated like any other regular agricultural crop. 

Industrial hemp is a species of cannabis that doesn’t produce a “high.”

It’s farmed for a variety of reasons.

Hemp fibers can be used for clothing and rope while 

Hemp seeds can be pressed into oil or made into milk. 

Merkley said some local farmers, including Cook, have already been working with hemp since 2014 as part of a federal pilot program. 

“Here in Oregon we have quite a head start to take advantage of this, stemming from the 2014 Farm Bill Pilot Project,” Merkley said. “We have 568 registered farmers in our state; we have 71 registered hemp handlers … who are in the business of removing the CBD oil from the hemp.” 

Meanwhile, Senator Ron Wyden wants cannabis legalized across the U.S. 

Wyden has said that the longer federal legalization is delayed, the longer Oregon misses out on economic opportunities that come from taxing and regulating cannabis like any other legal substance. 

Adam Smith, the founder of Craft Cannabis Alliance, said the cannabis market in Oregon is starting to experience over saturation. Smith said the issue could be resolved if Oregon growers were able to export and sell product to other states — to other markets that will, Smith hopes, legalize cannabis in the near future. 

Smith said if lawmakers don’t find a way to allow states like Oregon to export to other markets within the next two years, small businesses and local farms could disappear in Oregon as they’re bought up by international companies. 

“What we have is a market access problem,” said Smith. 

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