House and Senate lawmakers have signed off on legislation, Senate Bill 357, to reclassify and regulate industrial hemp. As passed, the measure redefines cannabis possessing less than 0.3 percent THC as an industrial crop. It also seeks to establish licensing requirements and regulations governing the production of and commerce in hemp, as well as for the scientific study of the crop.
Congressional lawmakers last week approved language authorizing state universities and agriculture departments to move forward with programs to cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes. The provisions allow for the cultivation industrial hemp in agricultural pilot programs in states that already permit the growth and cultivation of the plant. A 2013 white paper published by the Congressional Research Service concludes: “[A] commercial hemp industry in the United States could provide opportunities as an economically viable alternative crop for some US growers.”
The New Jersey Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee voted 4-1 in favor of Assembly Bill 2415. This legislation would legalize the licensed cultivation of industrial hemp. Members of NORML New Jersey were present to testify in favor of this legislation. “We commend the Committee for taking a common sense approach to allow the growth of industrial hemp in New Jersey,” stated NORML New Jersey Executive Director Evan Nison, “Our cannabis laws are nonsensical, and few issues embody this more obviously and plainly than the prohibition of industrial hemp. We […]
UPDATE: For unrelated reasons, the final House version of the FARRM bill was voted down this afternoon, we’ll keep you updated as this situation evolves. This morning, the United States House of Representatives approved an amendment to H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 (The FARRM Bill), that will allow for the cultivation of hemp for academic research at universities and colleges. This would only apply to states that have already passed legislation allowing for industrial hemp production. The amendment, sponsored by Representatives Polis (D-CO), […]
Governor John Hickenlooper has signed legislation, Senate Bill 241, into law creating a new program within the Department of Agriculture to oversee the regulation of commercial hemp production. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only minute (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Senate Bill 241 classifies cannabis possessing no more than three-tenths of one percent THC as an agricultural commodity and establishes a 9-member committee within the state Department of Agriculture to oversee the creation of regulations governing the licensed cultivation of hemp for commercial and research purposes. The Department must adopt regulations for the new program no later than March 1, 2014.
It is possible that, for the first time ever, the United States Senate will vote to approve industrial hemp cultivation in the coming days. Please take a moment of your time to encourage your Senator to support this measure. You can easily do so by clicking here. Senator Ron Wyden has introduced an amendment to Senate Bill 954, the Senate version of this year’s federal farm bill, that requires the federal government to respect state laws allowing the cultivation of industrial hemp. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant […]
Senator Ron Wyden has introduced an amendment to Senate Bill 3240, the Senate version of this year’s federal farm bill, that requires the federal government to respect state laws allowing the cultivation of industrial hemp. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only trace (less than one percent) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. The amendment language mimics the “Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013,” which remains pending as stand-alone legislation in both the House and Senate but has yet to receive a […]
On Friday, April 5th, Governor Steve Beshear of Kentucky stated that he will let Kentucky’s industrial hemp measure become law without his signature. Gov. Beshear had expressed concerns that marijuana growers could hide their illegal growing operations with hemp plants. Despite his concerns, he allowed the measure to become law without his signature and did not veto the legislation. House and Senate lawmakers passed an amended version of Senate Bill 50, “An Act relating to industrial hemp”, in March during the final hours of the 2013 legislative session. Noting that […]
House and Senate lawmakers yesterday passed an amended version of Senate Bill 50, “An Act relating to industrial hemp.” The floor votes took place with only hours to go before the close of the 2013 legislative session. Proponents of the measure acknowledged that “public pressure to pass the bill helped achieve the last-minute deal.” The United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop, according to the Congressional Resource Service. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that […]
For the first time in modern history, members of the United States Senate have introduced legislation in Congress to allow for the commercial production of industrial hemp. Last week, Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced Senate Bill 359 to amend the US Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. The measure grants state legislatures the authority to license and regulate the commercial production of hemp as an industrial and agricultural commodity. Senator McConnell is the Senate […]