Maybe not quite as interesting to mainstream media as recreational marijuana being passed in Portland (Maine), Colorado or Washington, hemp legalization in the latter two states and California is undeniably larger-then-life news. Never before has hemp been legalized in the United States since the act of the prohibition, other then a brief stint in World War II. This is a sign that society is changing. With Americans being limited to use of the product, they were never before allowed to legally cultivate the plant, though they were still the largest consumers of the plant internationally.

Now, farmers have some decisions to make. Hemp is defined as less than 0.03% THC, so it is definitely not something to smoke, and thus the concern of potential abuse, in regards to commercial hemp, could not be considered feasible. The hemp plant has also been shown to yield incredibly fast, and high amounts of quality goods in comparison to it’s competitors, like the timber and cotton industries. It was used to make to make every schoolbook until the 1880′s. The War of 1812 was fought over hemp, the first Bibles were written on hemp and hemp was many of the state’s first agriculturally grown crop. As Governor Jerry Brown officially signed SB 566, the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act, into law — thus, making it completely legal for farmers to cultivate the plant as a commercial crop without fears of arrest (other then federal scares, of course) — history is continuing to be made in the United States, after Washington and Colorado’s state passed commercial hemp legislation in their most recent election. The first commercially grown hemp crop, yielded by Rocky Mountain Hemp‘s founder, Ryan Loflin, is surely the sign of many more to come. Currently, the industry’s largest, HEMPinc. is now a publicly traded, over-the-counter stock, available for market investment. Obviously, market speculation has never been higher for the crop.

Given the 1938 Popular Mechanics article, deeming hemp the “billion dollar plant”, from an entrepreneur’s eyes, it’s undoubtedly optimistic to see how many different potentials this plant has. In a recessionary time period, that’s something the people want, which may mean a federal legalization in the upcoming decade. Already, the Supreme Court — calling the grow-operations “laboratories of freedom” — has allowed cultivation to legally take place. The Federal government will only intervene in cases when it is pursuing on-going crimes, as was with the latest raids in Colorado. Those dispensaries were tied to a criminal drug cartel, based out of Florida, illegally trafficking much of their harvest. Who knows if the cartels will attempt to invest in hemp, as well, during this volatile emerging market. Surely, with heavier regulations regarding the definition of hemp, the marketplace can eliminate a number scandals before they happen. Either way, our Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper, it’s time we can profit off of growing it ourselves. Renown investment banker Alan Borchstein shares a similar view, launching the 420 Investor: A Guide to Cannabis Stocks. That’s the American Dream, isn’t it? So, what does this mean for the rest of America, and specifically, what does that mean for existing industries, like the paper industry, that now have to compete with new competition?

Obviously, it’s means more legitimacy and transparency in the realm of marijuana-related goods. As more and more rising companies like MjCharts and MjFreeway continue to sprout, and illustrate the legitimacy behind the hemp business, the publicly-traded companies within it and the manufacturing and production fees within, while showing as much transparency as possible, laws will continue to be changed for the betterment of society. California is a huge state in regards to agriculture, it’s precedence could easily be considered a milestone in regards to legalizing hemp all over the world. From a (state) government’s perspective, hemp is much easier to regulate, monitor and control from the then something as mainstream and controversial as the recreational use of marijuana. Maybe, it will find luck in states resultant to legalize medicinal or recreational marijuana use. It seems less dangerous as well, as less cartels would be encouraged to join an uprising commercial hemp industry as they would to recreational marijuana companies — especially, with higher rules and regulations. As California has seen the worst side of federal laws in regards to marijuana-related products, with medical dispensaries continuing to be closed all over major cities within the state, it is clear to see why hemp was legalized within the state before recreational marijuana-use. All because cultivating the plant at all still remains illegal federally.

California also borders one of the most cartel-ridden countries in the world: Mexico. If there is going to be any clash between the legalization of marijuana and cartel activity, as Mexico continues to debate marijuana legalization, any negative occurrence is sure to happen within one of those two places.

As with any emerging industry, with an increased amount of transparency, comes a higher level of professionalism, standard, market speculation, mainstream attention and investment interest. This particular industry seems to be gaining support. The number of hemp-supporting lobbyists in D.C. have doubled in size since Washington and Colorado’s legalization, and with California’s recent hemp support, the number of supporters is sure to continue growing. Of course, this is also sure to affect hemp’s competing industries. Hemp can be used in regards to creating fuel, nutritional purposes, bio-degradable plastic & building materials, medicine (for both animals and humans), textiles, cardboard, paper, rope, furniture, solar panels, milk, rubber, books, cars, toilets, an environmental sustainability campaign and thousands of others causes, products and ailments. It is a wonderful plant, and it’s becoming obvious to see we need to incorporate it within our society. Given the curiosity of the human mind, the possibilities of use (of hemp, not even recreational marijuana) are endless. It’s hard to believe such an industry is receiving as little national attention as it is, at least not in the same way as the legalization of marijuana. It inevitably will as it becomes clear hemp has the power to affect more lives, while a growing number of states legalize hemp in hopes of competing with California, Colorado and Washington state as the sole hemp producers of the United States. Competition is already arising in the emerging market in the Western Hemisphere, as many South American countries are currently debating legislation legalizing the plant completely. There’s even social media sties being launched being the idea (like, HEMPbook), so support can be shown from anyone, anywhere. Forget recreational marijuana, there’s just as much, if not more money in hemp! It seems, the green rush is here.

As Hemp Magazine has previously stated, the battle in regards to recreational marijuana seems to be coming to a hault. Overwhelming amounts of supports are shown on recent polls, in almost all states polled (including Oregon, California, Arkansas and Arizona). Marijuana is now becoming a staple in American lifestyle and consumerism. Over-the-stock counters are already being legally traded by companies like HEMP, inc. and it only looks to continue. As VICE points out, hemp can even help your pigs be healthier, and taste better! It has a plentiful variety of ways in which it can benefit society as a whole, and it’s becoming obvious, we as a market-place (regardless of religion, or political interest) should be able to cultivate it. As Colorado, Washington, California and many more states to come continue to place commercial hemp farming and legalization onto voter ballots, it’s an industry that is sure to explode. As people like Dj. Sanjay Gupta, Susan Sarandone, Woody Harrelson Miley Cyrus and Justin Trudeau continue to spark public interest through their marijuana-positive endeavors, it’s clear the issue is catching fire and becoming a much more prominent in American culture. America is already the number one hemp consumer in the world, it’s about time our farmers took control and started profiting off of our own, homegrown, economic demand.