Marijuana Business Magazine August 2019

Marijuana Business Magazine | August 2019 40 I don’t understand the appeal, but smokable hemp has taken hold with consumers. The unlikely trend has given hemp producers new market opportunities—and a new set of legal headaches. It seems that consumers are gob- bling up cigarette-like products that smell and taste just like marijuana, only they’re completely legal. One hemp farmer from North Carolina told me that hemp pre- rolls have all the taste and flavor of marijuana but without the intoxication. (This sounds to me like all the coughing and none of the calm. Again, I don’t understand the appeal.) Market researchers and hemp producers say this sector is surging, giving entrepreneurs a risk-free way to profit from marijuana’s allure while we await federal approval of high-THC cannabis varieties. At least, that seems to be the thinking of hemp retailers flooding Instagram with close-ups of trichome-crusted buds and hemp cigarettes dangling from the lips of winsome models. There’s a lot to like about this trend: • It gives cannabis consumers in states with no access to legal marijuana a way to experience cannabinoids other than THC, namely CBD. • Some tobacco smokers say that smoking hemp helps them quit cigarettes. • Smoked hemp normalizes cannabis and chips away at the misconception that inhaling any variety or amount of cannabis leads to impairment and stereotypical stoner behavior. So, I don’t fault any hemp producers for tapping into this new market. But the rise of smokable hemp raises some complicated legal questions for the entire hemp supply chain. Many in the hemp industry are benefiting right now from a federal government too distracted by bigger problems to spend significant resources on the hemp industry. I worry that smoked hemp could change that benign neglect. It just looks bad. Will Smokable Hemp Backfire on the Industry? New trend could undo decades of work trying to persuade lawmakers that hemp is different from marijuana Hemp Notebook | Kristen Nichols I fear that Instagram models blowing luxuriant clouds of hemp smoke are inviting meddling from the same health and safety agencies that have largely ignored tinctures and salves.”