Industrial Hemp Farming Legislation Reintroduced In Congress

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director February 11, 2013

    Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) and 28 co-sponsors, including House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson (D-MN), have reintroduced legislation in Congress 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.

    House Bill 525, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013, amends the 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.

    Eight states – Colorado, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia – have enacted statutory changes defining industrial hemp as distinct agricultural product and allowing for its regulated commercial production. Passage of HR 525 would remove existing federal barriers and allow these states and others the authority to do so without running afoul of federal anti-drug laws.

    “Industrial hemp is a sustainable crop and could be a great economic opportunity for Kentucky farmers,” Rep. Massie stated in a press release. “Industrial hemp will give small farmers another opportunity to succeed.”

    Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) are supporting the introduction of a companion bill in the US Senate.

    According to a Congressional Research Service report, “The United States is the only developed nation in which industrial hemp is not an established crop.”

    Previous versions of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act have stalled in Congress. The issue has never before been debated in the Senate.

    Additional information regarding HR 525 is available from NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.

    21 responses to “Industrial Hemp Farming Legislation Reintroduced In Congress”

    1. QuaxMercy says:

      How can this NOT be passed out of committee? How can this NOT get its upper-down vote in both houses?
      Yet, if ’twere, it’d be totally out of the character of any thing that’s gone before, of late.

      Hmmmmmm…..the herbal healing of the Nations?

      How will we fug this up?

    2. D.S. says:

      This bills is one of the ones that could make millions if not more for small farms like Rep. Massie said if large farms don’t take it and produces a lot of money per acre compared to most other cash crops the only problem is the money it will take small farms to switch from other crops to industrial hemp. In many states this would boost the economy make jobs and if we don’t export the raw material but produce stuff with it we can get back some of the clothing and textile industries while not giving the money to other countries. We import tons of this stuff but relatively little of the stuff makes more money then the importing so the industrial hemp business could catch up to corn and tobacco in as little as 5 years.

    3. Anthony Julius Lannutti says:

      I think it would be easier of the movement tries to move forward a with a Constitutional Convention about marijuana. To amend the US Constitution, you would need 33 states to call for a constitutional convention… well, medical marijuana has 18 states so far. As we get closer to 33 states, the feds will have to move forward and reform the laws as to avoid being forced into a constitutional convention.. and a possible constitutional right to use pot. that means we are a close as 7-8 states away from being a huge threat to the national position on marijuana. Support a constitutional amendment resolution in your state

      And, the resolution to call for a national Constitutional Convention on marijuana would be much easier to pass than even medical marijuana itself….as it is a states rights issue and one state even though it don’t have medical marijuana may want the right to have it if they chose to… or it may support another states right to do what it wants… as there is a huge number of state that have conflicting laws with the federal government.

    4. Galileo Galilei says:

      I see lots of GOP names in the mix, including ‘fight-it-tooth-and-nail’ Romney’s running mate and the curmudgeon Senate Minority Leader. This is a triumph of science over ideology.

      A brave new world.

    5. Tom says:

      after this third nuclear test from north korea i should not see why marijuana or hemp and never did see why both should be big problem we could all die as soon as a few months or get drafted mabey if they do it again so who ever dosen’t want it legal should give up all ready seiresly its over… and the feds lost its not worth to keep fighting keep your eyes on the real problems but not marijuana because its not one of them

    6. JohnyHempseed says:

      If this passes (i live in Oregon) Does that mean i can instantly grow Hemp in my back yard!?!?!?

    7. JohnyHempseed says:

      Ive been planning to grow 1 acre of hemp on my family’ parcel of land. This crop would save us 80-90 percent of our purchased items per year!! Ive been ready to grow this for a year now!! YES!

    8. john w says:

      Well yeyyyyy!!!!! Sounds like u.s. is gonna start makin some money!!!

    9. TheOracle says:

      Get it done!

      If even Mitch McConnell is backing this, his state must really be hurting for money. He needs to convince his fellow prohibitionist brethren so remove cannabis from Schedule I and the CSA. Otherwise, he’s just pandering in order to get votes, using the voters just like Republicans use abortion to get people’s votes and then nearly everything else they do is not in the interests of those very same people.

    10. Patriot1 says:

      It’s ridiculous that hemp has been illegal for so long. After all, the Declaration and the Constitution were both written on hemp paper! Since hemp has so many uses, it could create a lot of jobs here in America, especially manufacturing jobs, which we desperately need. We have become a nation which no longer produces anything, due to mass outsourcing of jobs overseas. One thing that can be made with hemp is clothes. Everybody needs clothes, so that is one thing that will always be in demand. If you look at most of the clothes you buy nowadays at Wal-Mart and other retailers, at least 90% of them are made overseas. I have long said that we should be making those here, not in some Third World country on the other side of the globe. If we can legalize hemp, then we could go back to making our own clothes here in the USA, as well as many other things that can be made with this terrific wonderweed. Legalized hemp can help make America strong and self-sufficient once again and then we can tell all the global corporations to go to hell!