Hemp transportation is one commodity that we see growing fast nowadays. We see it in foods, lotions, clothing, and more. But it wasn’t always that way. Hemp has been in and out of the market going back to World War II.
That was the name of a U.S. Department of Agriculture program to encourage farmers to grow hemp during WWII. Rope, cloth, and other supplies were in high demand to support the war effort. The sources of industrial fiber that were often used for those goods were located in countries occupied by enemy forces. The program went as far as offering draft deferments to those who would stay home and grow hemp to help meet demands of those supplies. Additionally, in the 1600’s, property owners were required to grow hemp. There are even some historians that claim America’s first flags were made of hemp cloth. So, why does it seem like hemp is such a new product today?
Hemp and marijuana are varieties of cannabis that developed due to selective breeding. Hemp for its fiber and marijuana for its narcotic components. While the two look and smell-alike, they are chemically and structurally different.
During the Great Depression, the use of illegal marijuana skyrocketed. There was fear about the effects, and a national propaganda campaign against the “evil weed” was launched. Although they are very different, hemp and marijuana were lumped together. In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act was issued, regulating all cannabis, including industrial hemp.
As years went on, states began to research the benefits of hemp and started legalizing the production of industrial hemp. Such benefits include health, agricultural, and retail benefits. As this began to gain traction, there were more states that saw the opportunity hemp could bring. The passing of the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the list of controlled substances and made hemp production (and transportation of it) legal.
What does that mean for the transportation industry? Opportunity. According to the Hemp Business Journal, the industry produced at least $820 million in revenues during 2017. Growth to over $1 billion happened in 2018, and is expected to increase year over year.
There are an estimated 25,000 products that can be made from hemp. Hemp can be used to make paper, building materials, industrial lubricants, and more. There is untapped potential available in shipping a commodity that has medical benefits, as well as benefits to the environment and economy. The opportunities in hemp are continuously being discovered and more advancements are being made daily. For example, an energy storage device made from leftover hemp was developed. This device stores less energy than batteries, but are great for things that need a fast burst of energy. Imagine charging your iPhone in minutes and having hours of talk time.
In the age of technology and the “Amazon” effect, how neat is it to be able to take a step back in time, see the re-emergence of a raw material that has been around for hundreds of years, and merge it with the modern world!
Just as hemp fiber has been long valued for its strength and versatility, Trinity Logistics has those same qualities in how we do business and what the future holds. I, myself, am excited about the future of hemp transportation and its endless possibilities. Are you looking for a partner to help build your business and stay on top of this ever changing and growing market? If so, we’d love to start building a relationship with you.
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AUTHOR: Allison Coons
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