Hemp Industry Feeling Optimistic Under New Administration

The US hemp industry hopes the Biden administration’s prioritization of climate change and green technology will ultimately produce a windfall.

“2021 can be the year of hemp,” Geoff Whaling, chairman of the National Hemp Association, told Hemp Industry Daily.

Texas cannabis attorney Lisa Pittman also told the publication that, under the new administration, “the ability to harness hemp’s power to sequester carbon from the atmosphere and remediate toxins from the soil could finally become a functioning reality instead of a theoretical possibility.”

Clearly, optimism abounds. But there are also important questions that remain unanswered — namely, if or when the FDA will approve food and drugs containing CBD. Currently, only one CBD-derived drug, Epidiolex, is approved by the agency for use in severe forms of epilepsy.

Acting Agriculture Secretary Kevin Shea held his first meeting with hemp industry stakeholders late last month to discuss a range of issues. The discussion “went extremely well,” according to National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC) board chair Patrick Atagi.

“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done,” Atagi told Marijuana Moment. “But the USDA recognizes that and are bringing in people like us who know the agency, know the regulations, know where the bumps in policy areas of concern are at to work through those.”