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U.S. Federal Industrial Hemp Legislation

Two stand alone industrial hemp bills have been introduced in the 113th Congress so far. H.R. 525, the "Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013," was introduced in the U.S. House on February 6, 2013 by Representatives Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR), along with 27 original cosponsors. The bill currently has 49 bipartisan cosponsors, of which 33 are Democrats and 16 are Republicans.

Please see our Federal Legislation page for more detailed information on H.R. 525.

On February 14, 2013, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced S. 359, the Senate companion bill to H.R. 525, along with original cosponsors Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Note that the bill language of S. 359 is not identical to H.R. 525. The bills define industrial hemp, exclude it from the definition of "marihuana" in the Controlled Substances Act, and gives states the exclusive authority to regulate the growing and processing of industrial hemp under state law.

Please see our Federal Legislation page for more detailed information on S. 359.

On May 20, 2013 Senator Wyden introduced Senate Amendment 952 (S.AMDT.952), an Industrial Hemp Amendment to the Farm Bill. The language is the same as S. 359, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013, which has bipartisan support. After a handful of amendments were voted on, cloture was filed on the Senate version of the Farm Bill, which was successful. So, debate was cut off and amendments that had not been voted on yet, like the Wyden hemp amendment, did not become part of the bill.

Please see our Federal Legislation page for more detailed information on Senate Amendment 952.

On June 18, 2013 Representative Jared Polis introduced House Amendment 208 (H.AMDT.208), an Industrial Hemp Amendment to the Farm Bill, also known as "Polis of Colorado Part B Amendment No. 37." The amendment allows institutions of higher education to grow or cultivate industrial hemp for the purpose of agricultural or academic research. The provision only applies to states that already permit industrial hemp growth and cultivation under state law. The language of the amendment is not is the same as H.R. 525, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013. The vote was 225 to 200 in favor of the amendment, which was thus attached to the Farm Bill. But, the House version of the Farm Bill failed on a 195 to 234 vote.

On July 11, 2013 a new version of the Farm Bill, H.R. 2642, passed the House by a vote of 216 to 208 and included the Polis hemp amendment. The bipartisan hemp amendment, which was introduced by Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO), Thomas Massie (R-KY), and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and passed by a vote of 225 to 200 on a previous version of the Farm Bill, survived and is part of the House version this time around. The amendment allows colleges and universities to grow hemp for academic and agricultural research purposes. It applies only to states where industrial hemp farming is already legal under state law.

On February 7, 2014, President Obama signed the Farm Bill of 2014 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.

On May 30, 2014, Representative Suzanne Bonamici introduced House Amendment 745 to H.R. 4660. An amendment to prohibit the use of funds to prevent a State from implementing its own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of industrial hemp, as defined in section 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-79). The vote was 237 - 170 in favor of the amendment.

On May 30, 2014, Representative Thomas Massie introduced House Amendment 754 to H.R. 4660. An amendment to prohibit the use of funds in contravention of section 7606 ("Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research") of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Public Law No. 113-79) by the Department of Justice or the Drug Enforcement Administration. The vote was 246 - 162 in favor of the amendment.

Please see our Federal Legislation page for more detailed legislative information on the 2014 Farm Bill.

Please see our 2014 Farm Bill - Section 7606 page for guidance information for prospective researchers and state departments of agriculture.

U.S. State Industrial Hemp Legislation

Please click here to read an update on the progress of bills in state legislatures.

To date, forty-one states and Puerto Rico have introduced pro-hemp legislation and twenty-five have passed pro-hemp legislation.

Eighteen (18) states have defined industrial hemp as distinct and removed barriers to its production. These states will be able to take immediate advantage of the industrial hemp research and pilot program provision, Section 7606 of the Farm Bill: California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia.

Three states (Colorado, Kentucky and Vermont) in 2014 have research crops planted in accordance with section 7606, the Polis Amendment, to the Farm Bill.

Three states (Hawaii, Kentucky, and Maryland) have passed bills creating commissions or authorizing research.

Nine states have passed hemp resolutions: California, Colorado, Illinois, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Vermont and Virginia.

Nine states have passed hemp study bills: Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Vermont. Many other states have done studies without legislative directive. A complete list of state study bill legislation and state studies may be found on our Study Bill page.

State legislators and representatives of farm policy organizations, for more information about passing a resolution in support of industrial hemp or a hemp study bill please see our Hemp Resolution and Study Bill pages.





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