Bill To Exclude Hemp From The Controlled Substances Act

hempfieldCongressman James Comer (R-KY-1) and 15 co-sponsors have reintroduced legislation to amend the federal Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp.

Currently, the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 labels hemp as a Schedule I drug.

H.R. 3530 excludes low-THC strains of cannabis grown for industrial purposes from the federal definition of marijuana.

The majority of US states have already enacted legislation redefining hemp as an agricultural commodity and allowing for its cultivation. In 2014, members of Congress approved language in the omnibus federal Farm Bill explicitly authorizing states to sponsor hemp research absent federal reclassification of the plant.

All parts of the hemp plant can be cultivated and used to produce everyday household items. It can be grown as a renewable source for raw materials such as clothing, paper, construction materials, and biofuel. Not only is it useful, but growing hemp is much more environmentally friendly than traditional crops.

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

Click HERE to urge your Representative to support this legislation.

 

US Senate To Consider Hemp Farming Legislation For First Time

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 minority leader. He is a former opponent of hemp law reform.

“I am convinced that allowing [hemp] production will be a positive development for Kentucky’s farm families and economy,” Sen. McConnell said in a statement. “The utilization of hemp to produce everything from clothing to paper is real, and if there is a capacity to center a new domestic industry in Kentucky that will create jobs in these difficult economic times, that sounds like a good thing to me.”

Senate Bill 359 is the companion bill to House Bill 525, the 013. That measure has 28 co-sponsors.

Eight statesColorado, 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/S 359 would remove existing federal barriers and allow these states and others the authority to do so without running afoul of federal anti-drug laws.

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

Additional information regarding HR 525/S 359 is available from NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.

Industrial Hemp Farming Legislation Reintroduced In Congress

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, 013, 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.

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