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Federal: Industrial Hemp Farming Act Pending in Congress

Posted by on October 26, 2016

Federal legislation to amend the federal Controlled Substances Act to allow for the commercial cultivation of industrial hemp is pending in the United States House and Senate.

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.

The House version of the bill, HR 525, has 41 cosponsors and has been referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, And Investigations. The Senate version of the bill, S. 359, has four co-sponsors and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Efforts to attach this legislation as an amendment to the Senate Farm bill were unsuccessful.

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 this amendment 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.”

To contact your elected officials in support of industrial hemp, please use the pre-written letter below. 

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws – Advocacy Campaigns

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