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For Immediate Release
Monday, June 13, 2005

CONTACT: Adam Eidinger 202-744-2671

First Federal Industrial Hemp Bill to Be
Introduced in Congress This Month

Hemp Industry Asks Editors to Support Legislation,
Help American Farmers, Businesses and Consumers

WASHINGTON, DCOn June 23, Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) will introduce the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, a bill that would allow states to regulate industrial hemp farming while freeing U.S. farmers from federal restrictions on this versatile and profitable crop.

U.S. companies that manufacture or sell products made with hemp include Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, the number-one-selling natural soap, Interface, the world's largest manufacturer of commercial carpet and carpet tiles, FlexForm Technologies, an Indiana company whose natural fiber materials are found in 1.5 million cars, Alterna, a professional hair care company whose hemp products are beloved by Julia Roberts and other celebrities, and adidas USA which has been selling hemp sneakers since 1995. Although hemp grows wild across the U.S., a vestige of centuries of hemp farming, the hemp for these products must be imported.

According to “Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity,” a 2005 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, “farmers in regions of the country that are highly dependent on a single crop, such as tobacco or wheat, have shown interest in hemp’s potential as a high-value alternative crop...” (Read the report here.)

Shaun Crew of Hemp Oil Canada reports that Canadian hemp farmers are profiting $200-250 (Canadian) per acre growing hemp seed for the natural and organic food and body care market. Clifford Spencer, Chairman of the Springdale Group that is spearheading a hemp-growing program in the U.K., says farmers there make $350 (U.S.) profit per acre when they harvest seed and fiber simultaneously.

There is widespread support among national organizations for a change in the federal government’s position on hemp. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) “supports revisions to the federal rules and regulations authorizing commercial production of industrial hemp.” The National Grange “supports research, production, processing and marketing of industrial hemp as a viable agricultural activity.”

Numerous individual states have also expressed interest in industrial hemp. Twenty-six states have introduced hemp legislation and six (Hawaii, Montana, Kentucky, North Dakota, West Virginia and Maine) have removed barriers to its production. Rep. Paul’s bill would allow laws in these states regulating the growing and processing of industrial hemp to take effect.

For more information on industrial hemp, please visit www.VoteHemp.com, the Web site of Vote Hemp, a non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of industrial hemp.

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