While COVID-19 has brought its fair share of disaster to many companies and industries in its entirety, it has significantly impacted hemp producers in the Midwest.
Even though effects are felt widespread, the Illinois Department of Agriculture reported that in terms of acres of hemp plants harvested, growth was down from 80% compared to the previous year. The industry seems to be dealing with a lot of challenges and hardships not seen by many others.
Due to the already regulated nature of hemp across the US, the industry is now dealing with increased health and safety standards that have affected both processing and distribution of hemp across the country. While hemp does not contain any psychoactive substances, like THC that is found in typical marijuana, it still boasts a highly regulated industry and standards.
Rigorous testing is done by states to ensure that THC levels in hemp are below the 0.7 percent level that is currently legal. Many states are starting to ask for raises in this percentage as to encourage growth in the industry, since standards are extremely rigid currently. There is currently an application process that anyone who wishes to cultivate hemp can go through, found on all government state websites.