Creation of yet another ‘marketing program’ a fly in the ointment
Earlier this week, Ohio Farmers Union President Joe Logan appeared before the Ohio House Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee as an ‘interested party.’
Logan – and OFU – had hoped to be in the enthusiastic ‘supporter’ column, yet appeared as an interested party due to the bill’s provision that would create another “marketing program” picking the pockets of Ohio farmers.
Logan told the committee, “Our only concern with the bill language is the marketing program language, included in section 924.212. We believe that a statutory mandate for a hemp marketing program is not needed, as current market demand ramatically exceeds supply.
“Farmers have a wealth of experience with commodity marketing programs, as they exist for most of the commodities that farmers produce. We acknowledge that such programs can be useful in times where supplies are excessive and research languishes.
“Neither of these factors is the case for hemp.”
Hemp as an agricultural commodity is so new that there is extraordinarily limited processing capability – none in Ohio or anywhere near – and there are still legitimate questions about the long-term viability of so-called CBD oils as a market driver for industrial hemp.
While advocates of cannabiidiol – CBD – grow in numbers, there is relatively scant research on their viability for all manner of human health efficacy. If CBDs end up being not scientifically effective for the myriad of current potential uses, the air could escape quickly from the CBD balloon.
What is demonstrated around the world is the industrial uses of hemp oils and fibers. From car parts to clothing, hemp yields a valuable input to many products.
Logan prefers that the nascent industrial hemp market be able to grow organically – without the potentially heavy hand of a check-off program that would become dominated by concentrated corporate interests.
Our decades of experience with commodity marketing programs has led us to another concern –
that such programs are nearly always funded by farmers and that benefits normally accrue to the
corporations that process and sell the products.
“It should be noted that some major commodity marketing programs have used funding derived from U.S. producers to oppose federal legislation that would benefit farmers but that was strongly opposed by the nation’s largest processing corporation, even despite that the corporation was foreign owned,” Logan said.
In short, the Ohio Farmers Union strongly supports the decriminalization of hemp and look forward to working with the legislature and state agencies to accomplish this goal. However, we do not believe it is useful for the Ohio House to create an unnecessary bureaucratic body in a hemp marketing program.”
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