Industrial hemp includes varieties of Cannabis sativa that are intended for agricultural and industrial purposes. Industrial hemp is commercially grown in virtually every industrialized country in the world, except the United States. The special varieties are grown for their seed and fiber content, as well as byproducts. Industrial hemp fiber is used for textiles, rope, paper and building products. Hemp seed is used for food, feed and oil. Hemp oil is also the basis for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, inks, lubrication, household detergents, stain removers, varnishes, resins, and paints! Industrial hemp may even prove significant in the biofuel industry. The difference between industrial hemp and marijuana, also of the Cannabis sativa species, is the content of the hallucinogenic compound known as THC. Industrial hemp is low (0.3% or less) in THC whereas marijuana is high in THC (6% or greater).
Under North Dakota Century Code, NDCC 4-41, industrial hemp production is recognized as a viable industry in North Dakota. However, currently the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has not acknowledged state authority to regulate industrial hemp and will not distinguish between marijuana and industrial hemp varieties of Cannabis sativa.
In North Dakota, people interested in growing industrial hemp will need a license issued by the agriculture commissioner and an approved registration from the DEA. Currently each process requires an extensive application process and associated fees.
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