Regarding hemp, I realize that its THC content is minute and it has uses but I do not think it will ever be an agro-giant.I really do appreciate John engaging in dialogue here but I have to shake my head at how dense he sometimes seems to be. This statement belies the blinders a supposed free-market kind of guy puts on himself.
First, bravo for recognizing that the THC content in hemp is inconsequential. Second, "it has uses" is perhaps just a tiny understatement. It has hundreds, if not thousands of beneficial uses. Third, that you do not think it will ever be an "agro-giant" means you very likely have not bothered to read the available literature on the market potential for hemp crops.
Further, literature on land and water use issues, fertilizer and weed control suggest the potential for providing an incredible boost to the Arizona economy is far higher than your blinders currently allow you to see.
Okay, here's the bottom line for this blog post.
Colorado farmer Ryan Loflin made history last weekend by harvesting the nation's first commercial hemp crop in 56 years.
Hemp advocates said Loflin's harvest is a landmark event that could one day lead to larger-scale domestic farming of hemp for industrial uses such as food additives, cosmetics and building materials. [...]
The sale of hemp products in the U.S. reached an estimated $500 million last year, according to the Hemp Industries Association. Yet all of the hemp used for the products was imported because federal law prohibits its cultivation in the U.S. under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The last known commercial crop was harvested in Wisconsin in 1957.
Colorado's passage of Amendment 64 paved the way for legal cultivation of hemp...So, John, shouldn't you really be in favor of a crop with potential economic impact like this? By the way, right now apparently 93 percent of the world's annual crop of industrial hemp comes from China.
Shouldn't Arizona farmers be able to get some of that action?
Here's a pdf of plant biologist Dr. David P. West's paper on Hemp and Marijuana 1998.