The first full week of the new year has brought in a range of news from across the hemp sphere. Here are this week's headlines you might have missed.
Right before 2021 began, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) made its first-ever crackdown against cannabidiol (CBD) companies that included false medical claims on their products. The FTC signaled that it wouldn’t be the last of the action it plans to take against foul-playing CBD companies in the upcoming year. Read more
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) entered 2021 with a $350,000 grant from the Department of Justice to develop more reliable methods of distinguishing hemp from cannabis. The organization is aiming to have these methods fully developed or evaluated by the end of the year. Read more
To kick off the new year, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has added wholesale hemp pricing data from market analytics firm Hemp Benchmarks to its online database. This move “solidifies hemp as a major emerging agricultural commodity,” Jonathan Rubin, the CEO of New Leaf Data Services, Hemp Benchmarks’ parent company, tells Hemp Grower. Read more
The new year has also rang in a new season of hemp cultivation licensing. South Carolina was one state to begin its licensing period Jan. 1 for the 2021 season, and the state’s department of agriculture will accept applications until Feb. 28. Read more
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania will be putting hemp at the forefront of its annual farm show, which is being held virtually this year. The show will include sessions on hemp that review previous actions the state has taken and its future plans for the crop, as well as an educational component for K-12 students. Read moreIn other news, hemp has added yet another product to its list of seemingly endless uses: vodka made from hulled hempseed. Highway Vodka spoke with Hemp Grower about the eight years it took to develop the formula, how hemp affects the quality of the vodka and where the owners are looking to source seed from next. Read more