Will The U.S. Legalize Hemp in 2014?
Hemp literally has hundreds of uses, including being able to replace plastic, oil, and conventional building materials. Hemp has also been cultivated for over 12,000 years, and was even also used as a legal tender up until the early 1800s. Its wonderfully diverse list of uses makes many wonder if hemp is, along with cannabis, kept illegal to prevent competition.
The hemp market in California alone, is currently estimated to be valued at $500 million (annually), and the state houses more than 50% of the nation’s hemp production companies. The movement to legalize and regulate industrial hemp is growing, and the market offers an opportunity for farmers who seek sustainable agriculture.
Multiple attempts to legalize hemp have moved through Congress, each attempt only seeking to allow the states to regulate industrial hemp cultivation. It would also allow colleges and universities to grow hemp for research in states where hemp production is allowed. The first bill currently on the table is the Farm Bill, cosponsored by representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Thomas Massie (R-KY), and Jared Polis (D-CO), passed the House on a vote of 225-200 in July and now goes to a joint House-Senate conference committee. The second, an Industrial hemp Farming Act (House Resolution 525 and Senate Bill 359), is also pending.
Governor of California Jerry Brown, has now signed legislation which allows farmers in California to grow industrial hemp. Titled ‘Senate Bill 566′, authored by Senator Mark Leno and co-authored by Allan Monsoor, it would permit farmers to grow hemp for sale of seed, oil, and fiber, to numerous manufacturers and businesses who currently rely on international imports of raw hemp products. The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act sailed through the State legislature without any issue. It also made it through the Senate with zero ‘no’ votes, and the Assembly with only 4 against in the final vote.
“In the past year, the conversation to legalize the cultivation of hemp has gained momentum at the federal level, and it is only a matter of time before a farmer’s right to grow hemp is restored. Hemp, which is already found in hundreds of consumer products manufactured in our state, is a perfect crop for California. It has great potential to revitalize family farms, create new jobs and stimulate the economy.” – Sen. Leno D-San Fransisco
Currently, there are several states with legislation in place for the regulation of industrial hemp, and others are following suit. After receiving notice that the Department of Justice was going to ease off of smaller non-violent “drug crimes” in a sense. The newly passed hemp farming act in California will help to create new jobs and other economic opportunities for farmers and manufactures, as well as to inspire new entrepreneurship. However, don’t start growing without worry just yet: the bill does not go into effect until it is authorized by federal law.
“We feel confident that California will finally have an industrial hemp law later this year ensuring that California farmers are ready and able to cultivate hemp upon federal approval.” – Patrick Goggin, California legal counsel for the industry group Vote Hemp.
After the Justice Department made the announcement that they were going to allocate less attention and resources to marijuana crimes, more states have moved to eliminate the barriers which prevent them from growing industrial hemp. Hemp really is amazing, with so many different uses. Its low ecological cost means there are so many benefits from using it in everything from construction, to clothing, to food. This opens up many more opportunities for American citizens to prosper and provide for themselves.
Read more: http://www.exposingthetruth.co/u-s-moves-legalize-hemp-production/#ixzz2oo7XTv2M
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