There is perhaps no better proof of the cannabis plant’s increasing relevance in American society than the federal legalization of hemp that occurred at the beginning of this year. A longtime casualty of the War on Drugs, hemp was for decades erroneously lumped in with substances like LSD, crystal meth and ecstacy – seen as a drug of abuse – and made illegal at the U.S. federal level.
It took a lot of years for people to realize that cannabis in the form of hemp was not at all a psychoactive substance – meaning it does not get you high like marijuana – and therefore had no business being categorized as a drug of abuse. Legally, hemp can have no more than trace amounts of THC, the high-inducing compound in cannabis, limited to below a negligible .3 percent max.
Well, it didn’t take long at all for industrious cannabis specialists to figure out that now-legal hemp could make for a sought-after smokable product across the nation – one that could potentially rival the gargantuan might of the American tobacco industry.
For over five years, in a handful of U.S. states where tobacco has reigned supreme for eons, farmers have been quietly engaged in pilot programs testing out hemp crops. It’s proven to be a very popular plant. In Kentucky, which has seen an enormous amount of land previously dedicated to tobacco steadily migrating over to the more popular and profitable hemp crop, it’s produced such a buzz with local farmers that conservative Senate Majority Leader Mitchell McConnell has been actively stumping for legal hemp for years.
Now, just over seven months since hemp legalization kicked off countrywide, American hemp is taking another dramatic leap forward with a nationally distributed, smokable hemp product. Unveiled this week in Las Vegas at the CHAMPS trade show – a popular cannabis industry event – the partnership was announced uniting Grammy-nominated musician Post Malone and legendary cannabis breeder Mario Guzman (founder of premium cannabis brand Sherbinskis) teaming up to create individually branded American-grown hemp pre-rolls.