Monday, January 3, 2005
CONTACT: Adam Eidinger 202-232-8997,
Case for Hemp Made at
American Farm Bureau Convention
U.S. Farmers Deserve Right to Grow Industrial Hemp for
CHARLOTTE, NC —
Representatives of the Hemp Industry will exhibit on
January 9-12 at the American
Farm Bureau Federation's (AFBF) annual convention
at the Charlotte Convention Center to educate farmers
about the need to change federal laws that prevent them
from growing industrial hemp. Vote Hemp (booth # 614),
a non-profit advocacy organization, will give away hemp
food and display a wide variety of hemp products, such
as automobile parts and paper, sold in the U.S. but
made with imported industrial hemp.
"The U.S. government treats hemp
the same as marijuana even though dozens of countries
including Canada, England and Germany understand the
difference. American farmers know that hemp isn't a
drug. What we will show them is that there is a global
market for industrial hemp that they are unfairly locked
out of," says Eric Steenstra, President of Vote
Hemp, who will attend the AFBF convention. "The
American Farm Bureau Annual Convention is the perfect
place for Vote Hemp to jump-start our legislative and
education efforts by networking with farmers from across
the country who want to grow industrial hemp."
Vote Hemp's (www.VoteHemp.com) ultimate
goal is to free industrial hemp from restrictions meant
for marijuana, so that U.S. farmers and business owners
can once again profit from hemp's commercial cultivation.
Vote Hemp is working with legislators on the introduction
of an Industrial Hemp Farming Act. In January, when
the 109th Congress convenes, Vote Hemp will focus lobbying
efforts on bills to be introduced in the U.S. House
of Representatives and Senate.
"Farmers are asking, if it's legal
to sell hemp here in the U.S., why can't we grow it
commercially? Automobile parts, paper, clothing, food,
personal care products, and more are all being made
from hemp, yet the American farmer is left out of the
expanding marketplace, now estimated at more than $200
million in annual North American retail sales,"
In February 2004 the Hemp Industries Association won
its three year legal battle against the Drug Enforcement
Administration's misguided attempt to ban safe and nutritious
hemp foods. The market for hemp seed and oil products
that the DEA tried to ban is now among the fastest growing
natural health food markets in the natural products
industry which itself is among the fastest growing sectors
of the US economy.
"More and more health foods containing
omega-3 rich hemp nut and oil are appearing on store
shelves since the legal status is no longer an issue,"
says Alexis Baden-Mayer, Director of Government Affairs
for Vote Hemp. "Americans are looking for healthy
alternative sources of omega-3 to supplement their diets
due to concerns regarding trace mercury in fish and
fish oil supplements. Right now the U.S. marketplace
is supplied with hemp seed grown and processed in Canada
and Europe. We are working to convince Congress it is
time for the U.S. to again allow American farmers to
grow industrial hemp so that they can participate in
this lucrative growth market."
Visit www.VoteHemp.com to read court
documents and numerous scientific
studies concerning hemp foods. For more information
or to arrange interviews with representatives of the
hemp industry, please call Adam Eidinger at 202-232-8997.