A Growing Trend
With recreational marijuana now legal in Colorado, small-scale pot shops will open up soon in places like Denver and Boulder. But that's not the only business that could get a boost: Large-scale commercial farmers may also be in line to benefit.
In the eyes of the federal government, growing cannabis is a violation of the Controlled Substances Act. Special Agent Paul Roach of the Drug Enforcement Administration says federal law does not distinguish between hemp and marijuana.
"It really doesn't matter whether it looks different or it looks the same," he says. "If it's the cannabis plant, it's in the Controlled Substances Act and, therefore, enforceable under federal drug law."
The Department of Justice says it's reviewing the legalization initiatives approved in Colorado and in Washington state. For now, the United States is the only industrialized country that bans hemp.