by Countable | Updated on 3.28.18
For years, farmers across the country have sought the right to farm hemp, but federal law classified it as a controlled substance because of it being a low-THC cousin to marijuana. Lawmakers are looking to change that, opening up all states to the development of industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity.
Some states, like Colorado, have already encouraged the development of industrial hemp as a cash crop within their borders. Hemp can be used for food, car parts, bio-fuels, animal feed, paper, building materials, and textiles. It grows quickly -- harvest can occur four months after seeding. It is high yield and can be grown without pesticides.
Hemp was farmed extensively across the United States until 1937 via the Marihuana Tax Act.
The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was announced Monday by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Republican Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles. It is co-sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).
The Act would remove hemp from the Controlled Substances Act and reclassify it as an agricultural commodity. It would allow states to control their own hemp regulations by removing federal restrictions and allow researchers to apply for grants through the Department of Agriculture.
In Colorado alone, hemp-based products are expected to generate $1 billion in revenues in 2018 and grow to $1.7 billion by 2020.
Kentucky, McConnell’s home state, is the third largest producer of hemp currently. Oregon is second behind Colorado.
Do you support the removal of hemp from the federal list of controlled substances? Do you think it is a step towards federal legalization of marijuana, or a way for states that have not yet legalized to delay that possible future? What do you see as the benefits or dangers if this legislation is passed?
Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!
— Asha Sanaker
(Photo Credit: Pixabay / Creative Commons)
Written by Countable
I am definitely in support of this bill! Hemp is one of the few renewable fiber resources that can reduce the use of petroleum products such as polyester and support the winding down of the fossil fuel industry. Decreasing the markets for post-petroleum-refining products will put a back pressure on big oil to comply with any EPA regulations regarding the disposal of those products. Hemp is renewable, recyclable and useful in the production of materials and products that are long-lasting, safer for producers and their workers. Increased use of hemp would be a positive for our national economy bringing jobs back to this country that could effectively replace the loss of light manufacturing jobs we have endured.
It's about damn time. This plant has so many useful purposes, it's also going to generate a lot of income for the farmers who grow it...
This is common sense legislation that should have been enacted long ago
I worked at a rope manufacturer that was over 100 years old as a youngster. The old men would tell you hemp was the only thing for rope. Modern synthetics stretch, sisal cuts your hands, hemp is smooth & good to work with. As a crop it is well suited to our climate, requires less water & little if any pesticides. It should be a huge cash crop for the U.S. Only foolish fear keeps us from growing it to our profit. Modern strains contain no psychoactive elements & should be easy to distinguish for law enforcement.
First bill I agree with McConnell ... has hell frozen over?
Make America healthy again. Food, fiber, fuel, medicine.
FINALLY - timber will finally have some actual competition again. Death to the paper mills!!
Fully agree and a long time in coming. Silly authorities worried about pot and instead got the opioid crisis. Yes, hemp will be useful and an alternative crop for farming.
Please support legalizing hemp! It will save millions of trees, which we really need to absorb CO2 and help curb the terrible effects of global warming. In this day and age when trees are so needed, we should not be wasting them on paper. Hemp will do the job better and cheaper, while also having a ton of other uses as well.
This legislation supporting hemp protection is an economical and environmental win. Please support it.
This is long over due.
Hemp is a versatile and sustainable crop that, if regulated properly and kept out of the hands of the agricultural industrial complex and the Monsanto/Dow Chem corps, could provide a much needed boon of products to NY and the US. Please consider this as a much needed industry and something to follow with a critical and pragmatic eye.
I support the legalization of hemp farming on US soil to meet US safety standards. Like any other product, large scale monocrop production will present challenges and issues; it must be carefully balanced with the use of arable land for food crops. However, adding it into a rotation program or growing this renewable resource on otherwise unsuitable land (perhaps during the transition from conventional to organic farmland) provides greater options for farmers and should be allowed. The original economic reasons for its restriction no longer exist in the same form.
Of course! Time to stop living in Reefer Madness.
Yes, we should absolutely do this. There’s no data anywhere that’s shows this is a bad idea.
Please hemp legislation is important but we cannot afford a distraction right not. Trump is using the Facebook investigation to control the media optics around his own involvement in Cambridge Analytica. The Trump administration is doing everything they can to turn down the voice of people and control the media like Putin does, this includes Facebook. Currently our ball is in Arizona 8 and that is where we need to focus. If we get distracted by the circus we could loss even more of our political freedoms.
With as much as Reps love money, this is a no-brainer. There’s so much money in hemp and pot it’s naturally a major cash crop just like poppy for painkillers and cancer and tobacco and such. If it can be grown it can be used, if it can be used it can be sold. The body has natural receptors for THC, so you can’t really argue that we weren’t meant to use it.
Yes, yes a thousand times yes! Farmers need a viable, useful and profitable crop! Hemp fits the bill and works great for small farms too.
Yes I support this. It was total nonsense to classify it as illegal to begin with.