2023 has started positively for the hemp industry with two interesting recent developments. The first ever global forum on industrial hemp occurred at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, and Google is set to relax its policy for hemp advertising.
While in-person attendance at the January 18th UN Conference was light, the amount and diversity of virtual attendees was impressive. Nations across the globe are starting to recognize the value of hemp. Many know hemp only from the cannabinoid side from products like CBD. Less talked about are the grain and fiber products from the industrial hemp varieties that could quickly become mainstream. Global events like these help promote that awareness.
Hemp grain has been recognized for years as a superfood. A few countries like Canada and Australia have well established industries however those are the exception not the rule. Even in the US, the hemp grain industry is fairly new. The hemp grain's unique nutrition qualities make it a very compelling alternative to current staple crops especially in certain growing markets like plant-based meat & protein.
Hemp fiber, which comes from the stalks of the plant, is also seeing increased visibility and expansion for use as building materials, bioplastics, biofuels, and textiles. In combination with life cycle analysis that has shown hemp is not just carbon neutral but in fact carbon negative, its re-emergence on the global stage comes at a critical time as the world searches for green alternatives to fight climate change.
Despite Hemp being legal in the United States for many years now, it has remained blacklisted from advertising on major platforms like Google, but that is now changing. On January 20th, Google will change its advertising policy to allow the marketing of CBD products and other cannabinoids in certain markets. Many in the hemp industry have been stymied from promoting their legal products by these outdated rules and some might not know that these policies not only applied to cannabinoids but also to hemp grain and fiber products.
This change will hopefully just be the beginning of a turn in the tide of the public's acceptance of the many different uses of industrial hemp and its importance in the domestic and international economy going forward.