Calculating the Enormous Potential of the Hemp Industry

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“The crop right now is sellable,” Colorado hemp farmer Jim Denny told NPR reporters earlier this year. “I’ve already had people contact me on my website saying, ‘We know you’re growing stuff and we want to buy it from you already.’ And we haven’t even put it in the ground.”

What Denny is experiencing is called demand, and it’s one half of the most basic blocks of modern economics. The other, supply, is what he is trying to generate. And he’s not alone. The fact is, industrial hemp — which is a cousin of the marijuana plant, sans the psychoactive compound THC — is a potential gold mine for the agricultural industry. The problem is that so far, it’s been lumped together with marijuana and made out to be dangerous, when it is in fact no more dangerous than cotton or wood.

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