One of the joys of working in logistics is partnering with businesses across a variety of fascinating industries. There are all kinds of fun cargo in niche markets that needs to get hauled. Industrial hemp has all the ingredients of an oddball, polarizing and intriguing product which needs its place on the highways.
Now, before you start thinking you’re talking to a bunch of hippies or an organized drug cartel, industrial hemp is much different from those infamous marijuana joints. They come from the same plant, but hemp has lower levels of THC. So, you don’t get “high.” This variety of the plant is used as CBD oil in many products like shampoo, clothing, rope and even dog food!
With the industrial hemp market poised to reach $13.03 billion by 2026 and strong hemp growing seasons ahead, there’s plenty of hemp that’ll need to get from point A to point B.
Challenges of Shipping Hemp
As you can imagine, the process of shipping hemp hasn’t been a walk in the park. But things are moving forward. Legislation like the 2018 Farm Bill allows for the interstate transport of industrial hemp and defines it as having less than 0.3% THC.
However, state and federal law tend to butt heads on the definition. For example, Idaho law classifies any cannabis plant with THC as marijuana. So, what trumps what? Federal vs. state law? Driving through states that totally outlaw anything to do with marijuana poses a threat. And understandably so. Think of the police officer who gets caught in an awkward position when pulling over trucks transporting hemp. It’s not uncommon to have hemp drivers getting arrested.
Finding the right carrier to ship industrial hemp can be a challenge. Many trucking companies are still apprehensive about accepting commercial hemp shipments. But, trucks can be contracted for these types of hauls. This is where leveraging the network of a 3PL can come in handy.
Getting Hemp from A to B
There are a few things that go into achieving a successful hemp shipment.
- Have paperwork in order.
- Notify the Department of Transportation (DOT).
- Don’t smuggle anything illegal. Please.
Possess a certificate from a testing facility with all the information about the product. Nothing needs to change on the Bill of Lading (BOL) but having the proper documentation from a state-approved facility helps cover all angles.
Have the driver notify the DOT about the shipment if going through a state with strict marijuana laws. This will help alleviate a strenuous process should the driver get pulled over.
And don’t think you can put illegal stuff in the middle of a shipment. It won’t work.
Custom Needs Demand Custom Solutions
Partnering with a freight broker like FreightCenter provides stability and peace of mind when shipping your niche products. We navigate through complicated shipping requirements so you can ship more efficiently. Whether your business is in a mainstream industry or something totally unique, our extensive knowledge makes us your one stop shop for shipping solutions.
Bring your weirdest, complicated and most interesting products to ship. We’re ready for them.
Get your custom shipping solutions today. Call (800) 716-7608 or visit FreightCenter.com.