The History of Federal Hemp Legislation
On July 28, 2017, Rep. James Comer (R-KY) introduced H.R. 3530, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017. The bill was introduced with 15 bi-partisan cosponsors including Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). This new version of the bill has a number of changes as part of a compromise. Vote Hemp was pleased that several provisions we advocated for were included including allowing Native American tribes to grow and also a provison which allows cultivation of hemp for research only up to 0.6% THC (we advocated for increasing the THC for research and commercial cultivation). Read our analysis of H.R. 3530 here.
On January 8, 2015, S. 134, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators McConnell, Merkley, Paul and Wyden. The bill is identical to S. 359 which was the bill introduced during the previous (113th) Congress.
On February 7, 2014, President Obama signed the Farm Bill of 2013 into law. Section 7606 of the act, Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research, defines industrial hemp as distinct and authorizes institutions of higher education or State departments of agriculture in states where hemp is legal to grow hemp for research or agricultural pilot programs. Since hemp has not been grown in the United States since 1957, there is a strong need for research to develop new varieties of hemp that grow well in various states and meet the current market demands.
May 20, 2013 Sen. Ron Wyden introduced S.AMDT.952, an industrial hemp to the 2013 Farm Bill. This amendment failed to be attached to the Farm Bill, but did help to find original cosponsors for the introduction of S. 3501, the "Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2012."
On June 7, 2012 Sen. Ron Wyden introduced S.AMDT.2220, an industrial hemp to the Farm Bill. This amendment failed to be attached to the 2012 Farm Bill, but did help to find original cosponsors for the introduction of S. 3501, the "Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2012." The Farm Bill was passed by the Senate, but failed to be passed by the House. The Farm Bill will need to be revisited in the 113th Congress.
The Industrial Hemp AMendment to the Farm Bill
THOMAS (Library of Congress) bill information for
S.AMDT.952 - Bill Summary & Status - 113th Congress
THOMAS (Library of Congress) bill information for the Farm Bill (S.954)
Read Sen. Wyden's Senate floor comments from June 13, 2012. (PDF file 106k)
Watch Sen. Wyden's Senate floor comments from June 13, 2012. (Youtube HD)
Read our press release announcing the 2012 amendment.
On May 12, 2011 Rep. Ron Paul introduced H.R. 1831, the "Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011," with twenty-two original cosponsors. The bill was assigned to comittee, but never received a hearing or a floor vote. At the end of the 112th Congress Rep. Ron Paul and Rep. Barney Frank retired and the bill had 37 cosponsors. A Senate companion bill was introduced on August 2, 2012 by Sen. Ron Wyden.
On April 2, 2009 Rep. Ron Paul introduced H.R. 1866, the "Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009," with ten original cosponsors. The bill was assigned to comittee, but never received a hearing or a floor vote. At the end of the 111th Congress the bill had 25 cosponsors.
On February 13, 2007 Rep. Ron Paul introduced H.R. 1009, the "Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2007," with nine original cosponsors. The bill was assigned to comittee, but never received a hearing or a floor vote. At the end of the 110th Congress the bill had 13 cosponsors.
In 2005 for the first time since the federal government outlawed hemp farming in the United States, a federal bill was introduced that would remove restrictions on the cultivation of non-psychoactive industrial hemp. At a Capitol Hill lunch on June 23, 2005 marking the introduction of H.R. 3037, the "Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2005," Congressional staffers were treated to a delicious gourmet hemp lunch while listening to various prominent speakers tout the myriad benefits of encouraging and supporting a domestic hemp industry.
The bill was written with the help of Vote Hemp by chief sponsor Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), and it garnered 11 additional cosponsors. The bill defined industrial hemp, excluded it from the definition of "marihuana" in the Controlled Substances Act, and assigned authority over it to the states, allowing laws in those states regulating the growing and processing of industrial hemp to take effect.