The wires this week are all aflame with the news of passage of the new Farm Act, which was promptly signed by the President. The bill legalizes hemp, a plant with substantial industrial use which has been banned in the US because of its chemical relationship to cannabis. One cannot fail to note the business buzz about, and substantial investment in companies involved in, the cannabis business.
Hemp has very low content of THC, which is the stuff that gives weed its kick, and higher content of CBD, another derivative of marijuana which is non-hallucinogenic and which is removed from the controlled substance list by the Farm Bill. The impact on the THC side of the business is the subject of current trade speculation, although since now-legal CBD can be derived from marijuana there will be at least some positive effect; query whether this is another step towards Federal acceptance of marijuana, thus ending the absurd stand-off between the States and the Feds.
A footnote from the trade press: looks like cannabis beer is on the horizon; various companies have formed cannabis partnerships or undertaken research.