Attorney General Jeff Sessions didn’t have hemp in mind when he repealed Obama-era protections for state-legal marijuana businesses.
But his Jan. 4 announcement sent shock waves into the hemp industry, too, leaving entrepreneurs scrambling to reassure skittish investors.
It’s been a rocky couple of weeks for hemp entrepreneurs. That’s despite the fact that hemp’s legal status has nothing to do with Sessions’ announcement.
In fact, hemp producers and entrepreneurs are capitalizing on the attorney general’s decision as an opportunity to highlight hemp’s legal certainty, which now stands in even starker contrast to the status of its intoxicating cousin, marijuana.
Hemp production has been enshrined into law by Congress through the 2014 Farm Bill, meaning the Department of Justice can’t go after hemp growers or processors abiding by the terms of state hemp rules.
That didn’t keep the phones from ringing at The H. Hemp Company, a Boulder, Colorado, maker of CBD oils and topicals.
“I had investor conversations immediately, because it really spooked them,” said CEO Ashley Grace.
Hemp’s eternal association with marijuana, derived from the same plant, means that