A New Amendment to the Farm Bill May Allow Industrial Hemp Research

Industrial hemp

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The new Bipartisan Polis-Massie-Blumenauer Amendment would permit America’s colleges and universities to conduct important agricultural research in states that support industrial hemp farming

Many supporters of the medical marijuana and industrial hemp movements would agree that the antiquated and ineffective war on drugs is preventing us from growing a plant that aides in managing physical and mental health, through use of products such as hemp oil, and could also help stimulate the American farming industry. As people become more aware about the benefits of industrial hemp, lawmakers are starting to put forth effort into enabling farmers to grow this miraculous plant. Representative Jared Polis (D-OR), Representative Massie (R-KY), and Representative Blumenauer (D-OR), have introduced to the House a new bi-partisan amendment to the Farm Bill in support of industrial help. Vote Hemp’s press release about the amendment states:

The amendment would allow colleges and universities to grow and cultivate hemp for academic and agricultural research purposes. It would only apply to states where industrial hemp growth and cultivation is already legal.

To view the amendment, please go to: http://votehemp.com/legislation

In a “Dear Colleague” letter today, Rep. Polis, Rep. Massie, and Rep. Blumenauer appealed to fellow members of Congress for support with the following:

 “Our bipartisan amendment is simple: It allows colleges and universities to grow and cultivate industrial hemp for academic and agricultural research purposes. It only applies in states where industrial hemp growth and cultivation is already legal.

  •  Hemp is not marijuana. Our amendment defines industrial hemp as a product containing less than 0.3 percent THC. At this concentration, and even at much higher concentrations, it is physically impossible to use hemp as a drug.

     From Colorado to Kentucky to Oregon, voters across the country have made it clear that they believe industrial hemp should be regulated as agricultural commodity, not a drug. At the very least, we should allow our universities—the greatest in the world—to research the potential benefits and downsides of this important agricultural resource.

     We urge you to support this bipartisan, common-sense amendment.”

    To date, thirty-one states have introduced pro-hemp legislation and nineteen have passed legislation, while nine states (Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia) have defined industrial hemp as distinct and removed barriers to its production. However, despite state authorization to grow hemp, farmers in these states risk raids by federal agents and possible forfeiture of their farms if they plant the crop, due to the failure of federal policy to distinguish oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis (i.e., industrial hemp) from psychoactive drug varieties.

    Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and a free market for low-THC industrial hemp and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow this agricultural crop.  More information about hemp legislation and the crop’s many uses may be found at www.VoteHemp.com or www.TheHIA.org.  Video footage of hemp farming in other countries is available upon request by contacting Ryan Fletcher at 202-641-0277 or ryan@votehemp.com.

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