North American Industrial Hemp Council
States Take Lead in Promoting Industrial Hemp
NAIHC.org, April 23, 2013 – With more states passing legislation to encourage growing industrial hemp, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) provides a summary of the eight states with industrial hemp laws already in place: Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, and West Virginia.
The NCSL summary notes that:
Industrial hemp refers to many types of Cannabis plants that contain low levels of the psychoactive chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and can be used to make a variety of products including textiles, plastics, fuel and food. However, the Federal Controlled Substances Act categorizes any product that contains THC, including industrial hemp, as a Schedule I drug.
Kentucky Governor Allows Hemp Legislation to Become Law
NAIHC.org, April 5, 2013 – On Friday, Kentucky became the ninth state to approve legislation designed to have industrial hemp become a legal crop in the U.S. once again. Kentucky joined the ranks of Colorado, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia when Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear withdrew the threat of vetoing the hemp bill which was approved by overwhelming majorities in House and Senate votes.
Gov. Beshear declined to sign the bill, SB 50. But since it was passed by the legislature last week and since the governor decided against the veto which state police officials wanted, the bill now becomes law.
Kentucky Governor Under Pressure to Sign – or Veto – Hemp Legislation
NAIHC.org, April 2, 2013 – Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) faces a Saturday deadline to sign or veto compromise legislation designed to allow Kentucky farmers to once again grow industrial hemp. If he fails to act, the bill will become law.
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer championed the Kentucky legislation and hopes to re-start industrial hemp growing in the state by obtaining a federal waiver “to do a pilot project very soon.” U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and U.S. Congressmen John Yarmuth (D-KY) and Thomas Massie (D-KY) all support industrial hemp production and are working on passing federal legalization legislation. Currently, industrial hemp remains banned under the federal Controlled Substances Act because the plant is related to marijuana.
Hawaii Legislature Considering Industrial Hemp Bill
NAIHC.org, March 29, 2013 – A bill proposing to use industrial hemp to clean up contaminated soils is being considered by legislators in Hawaii. The two-year research program which would be run by the University of Hawaii at Manoa also would investigate developing industrial hemp as a biofuels feedstock.
Industrial hemp production in the U.S. remains blocked under federal drug laws which ban industrial hemp because it is related to marijuana. If the bill is passed, Hawaii will join nearly a dozen other states currently seeking federal approval for growing industrial hemp.
The legislation has been approved in Hawaii’s House and by two Senate committees. It went to the Senate Ways & Means committee March 26 to prepare for consideration by the full Senate.
Kentucky Legislature Passes Industrial Hemp Bill
NAIHC.org, March 27, 2013 – In the final hours of its 2013 session March 26, the Kentucky legislature reached a compromise on legislation to allow Kentucky farmers to once again grow industrial hemp. The bill which had been blocked in the House finally passed 88-4 in the House and 35-1 in the state Senate.
The remaining hurdles to re-introducing the crop in Kentucky are that Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) could veto the bill – and that growing industrial hemp remains banned at the federal level under the Controlled Substances Act which links industrial hemp with its distant cousin marijuana. For testimony in favor of the bill from NAIHC Board members, click here.
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