House Passes Amendment Favoring Hemp

Here’s a surprise – the House of Representatives, which has barely passed any legislation this year, has passed an amendment making industrial hemp farming legal.  

The bi-partisan amendment to the House version of the FARM Bill was passed 225-200 (the Farm bill was voted down).

Sponsored by Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO), Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), colleges and universities would be allowed to cultivate and grow hemp for research purposes in states that have legalized it – without the fear of federal interference.

According to Rep. Polis, 19 states have already passed pro-hemp legislation and nine of them have removed barriers to production: Maine, Vermont, Kentucky, West Virginia, Colorado, Kentucky, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, and Washington.

In Kentucky, Republicans and the Chamber of Commerce see growing hemp as an important route to economic development, and want the state to be the "king of hemp."

Hemp

But where are the hemp farms? Nowhere because the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has to give a permit to grow hemp, and the agency considers it the same as marijuana – a drug.

Earlier this year, Polis introduced legislation that would remove marijuana and hemp from DEA’s jurisdiction.

"Industrial hemp is an important agricultural commodity, not a drug," states Rep. Polis. "Many states, including Colorado, have demonstrated that they are fully capable of regulating industrial hemp."

"George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp. The first American flag was made of hemp. And today, U.S. retailers sell over $300 million worth of goods containing hemp – but all of that hemp is imported, since farmers can’t grow it here," he continues. "Hemp is not marijuana, and at the very least, we should allow our universities to research the potential benefits and downsides of this important agricultural commodity."

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Comments on “House Passes Amendment Favoring Hemp”

  1. Sympatico

    The federal government continues to ban cultivation of industrial hemp because of the infinitesimal quantities of THC it contains. The logic is flawed and is equivalent to banning poppy seeds because they contain tiny amounts of the opiate found in opium and heroin. Smoking industrial hemp will produce a headache—not a high. In our business we reluctantly use fabric imported from China that contains hemp—currently the only viable source. And apparel is just one of hundreds of uses for hemp fibers, seeds, and oil. Permitting hemp cultivation in the U.S. would offer a cash crop to our farmers that requires no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. We’ve posted an article about this issue at http://www.sympaticoclothing.com/hemp-legality.html

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