Monday, March 28, 2005
CONTACT: Adam Eidinger at 202-986-6186
State Hemp Legislation
ND Hemp Bill Signed into Law; NH Hemp Bill Passes
House "Floor Fight;"
Hearings on Hemp Bills Set in CA and OR in April
WASHINGTON, DC —
Vote Hemp, a non-profit organization dedicated to the
acceptance of industrial hemp, is excited by recent
advances made in four
state legislatures considering hemp legislation
this year that would allow farmers and researchers to
grow industrial hemp. In California, New Hampshire,
Oregon and North Dakota business leaders, farmers and
legislators are backing legislation that would bring
back hemp farming and support research almost 50 years
after the crop was taken away from farmers who grew
the versatile plant for centuries.
See more on industrial
hemp at http://www.votehemp.com.
Recent advances in state hemp legislation
North Dakota — VICTORY!
On March 9 the Governor John Hoeven signed House Bill
1492 which directs the North Dakota State University
to start storing "feral hemp seed" in preparation
for the day in which it becomes legal to grow industrial
hemp under federal law. The vote in the House was 87-3
and in the Senate was 46-0. In 1999, North Dakota was
the first state to pass hemp farming legislation but
to date has not challenged federal supremacy over the
issue in the courts.
New Hampshire — House Bill
55-FN-A — PASSED HOUSE "floor fight"
on March 23 by a margin of 199-168 after coming out
of the House Environment and Agriculture Committee.
The bill will now be heard anytime by the House Finance
Committee before going on to the final House floor vote,
and then will go on to the Senate for their consideration.
If passed and signed into law it would let farmers apply
for a state license to grow industrial hemp. Qualifying
farmers must have no criminal convictions and plant
at least five acres per year. Only hemp seed that was
sold to farmers by the New Hampshire Commissioner of
Agriculture would be approved for planting to ensure
only low-THC varieties of the plant are grown.
Oregon — Senate Bill 294
— HEARING SET for April 6 in the Oregon Senate
Environment and Land Use Committee at 3:00pm in room
B. The bill would permit production and possession of
industrial hemp and trade in industrial hemp commodities
and products. The bill would authorize the State Department
of Agriculture to administer a licensing, permitting
and inspection program for growers and handlers of industrial
California — Assembly Bill
1147 — HEARING SET for April 27 before the California
Assembly Agriculture Committee. If passed, AB 1147 would
give farmers the right to apply for a state license
to grow low-THC varieties of hemp. The law would be
similar to regulations on industrial hemp in other countries
such as Canada and the European Union. The University
of California would also conduct research on industrial
"Industrial hemp has become a lucrative
crop for farmers in Europe, Canada and Asia, so farmers
here are asking 'Why are we being left out?'" says
Alexis Baden-Mayer, Director of Government Relations
for Vote Hemp. For thousands
of years different varieties of Cannabis have been
cultivated for non-drug uses
such as paper, canvas, soap, food, building materials
and recently high-tech bio-composites used in automobiles.
Hemp and marijuana come from different
varieties of the Cannabis plant. "Because there
are millions of cars on the road with hemp door panels,
tens of millions of dollars spent annually on hemp food
and hemp body care, and hemp paper is being made in
the U.S., people are asking tough questions about why
the U.S. government won't distinguish low-THC hemp from
high-THC drug varieties. I believe there will be federal
legislation soon to address needed reforms," says
Visit www.VoteHemp.com to learn more about
For more information or to arrange interviews with representatives
of the hemp industry, please call Adam Eidinger at 202-986-6186.