The farmers, scientists, and government in China have been quietly revolutionizing the hemp industry with incredible progress. This move has been done with such careful attention to detail, that China — a country where marijuana possession might garner the death penalty — has become a dominant power in the cultivation and production of hemp and its many derivatives.
Right now, China is the producer of approximately half of the world’s legal hemp, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
In the provinces where hemp production is legal, growers of the plant sell stems to textile factories to produce high-quality fabrics. As well, the leaves of the plant are sold to the pharmaceutical industry for medicine while the seeds are sold to food producers to make various snacks, oils, and drinks.
For many farmers in China, hemp brings in approximately $1,500 USD per hectare which is vastly more profitable than traditional crops such as soybeans, which are valued at approximately $124 USD per hectare.
Because the harvest does so well for local farmers, authorities had been turning a blind eye to its production for years before legalizing and regulating hemp in…