The US Department of Agriculture is looking to boost imports of hemp seeds from Ukraine, hoping this will help the country’s battered economy. However, they still do not know what it will be used for.
“We are now involved in trying to figure out ways in which we might be able to use the industrial hemp seeds that are created in Ukraine in the US,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told Bloomberg in an interview Tuesday.
Ukraine is the world’s fourth-biggest producer of industrial hemp seed, the term used to refer to cannabis strains cultivated for non-drug use. Unlike another, most known type of Cannabis grown for marijuana, industrial hemp lacks that same ingredient, THC, which causes physical or psychological effects and gives smoker a high.
Industrial hemp, being one of the earliest domesticated plants known, has many uses from healthy food to making paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction and even fuel.
Easy to cultivate, uses for industrial hemp are growing rapidly.
Ukraine is currently angling for aid from the International Monetary Fund, as much as $20 billion, while it has also been struggling with months of political crisis.
The Obama administration is planning to provide a $1 billion loan for the coup-imposed government of Ukraine, and is working with European allies on a broader package.