Progress is being made in North Dakota, the first
state to take action to implement a hemp farming
law. On June 15th, Agriculture Commissioner Roger
Johnson held a hearing on the department's proposed
rules for licensing farmers to grow industrial hemp
under state law.
There were about two dozen people at the
I presented the testimony for Vote Hemp. Also giving
testimony were Anndrea Hermann and Shaun Crew of
Hemp Oil Canada. Rob Robinson of Modern Hemp and
daughter, China, presented testimony as well. There
were a good number of farmers in attendance and
asked a number of very good questions. Anndrea
presented an excellent PowerPoint presentation on
growing hemp in Canada.
Johnson and his team will go over the oral and
written testimony that was presented at the hearing,
that which came in prior to the hearing, and
any more that comes in before the July 20th
deadline. They will then issue final rules for review
by the state Attorney General. They hope to have
the rules in
place by the end of the year.
After the hearing, I was able to talk with Earlene
Frank and her husband George, the farmers who were
quoted in the AP story. Earlene got it exactly right
when she said that law enforcement fears about hemp
And there is good news from California as well! AB
California Industrial Hemp Farming Act, passed the
Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday. The bill
now goes on to the Senate Agriculture Committee for
a hearing this Thursday, June 29. This is just one
day before the last day for policy
committees to meet and vote on bills. If you are a
farmer or constituent interested in testifying before
committee, please contact Alexis Baden-Mayer at
Vote Hemp is the moving force behind pro-hemp
Please make a
to Vote Hemp today to help us continue to push
through legislative changes and educate voters and
businesses here in the U.S.
We need and truly appreciate your support!
Weekly News Update Editor
|Agriculture: Farmers Urge Lifting Ban on Industrial Hemp
By James MacPherson, Associated Press
Grand Forks Herald
June 16, 2006
BISMARCK, ND Ñ Stark County farmers
Earlene Frank say they're willing to get
fingerprinted and undergo criminal background checks
to grow hemp, the biological cousin of marijuana.
The elderly couple, who grow small grains and
raise cattle south of Dickinson, say industrial hemp
would be a much-needed alternative cash crop for
North Dakota farmers.
"There is a definite need for more crops that can
grow in this area," Earlene Frank said. She called
law enforcement fears about hemp "silly."
The couple were among about 20 people who
attended a public hearing on Thursday on proposed
state rules for the production of industrial hemp.
|Feature: Industrial Hemp Push Underway in California, North Dakota
Drug War Chronicle
June 16, 2006
Moves are afoot in California and North Dakota to
win approval of industrial hemp production at the
state level, but the ultimate goal is removing the
federal government as an obstacle to domestic
cultivation of the valuable and versatile plant.
Under current U.S. law, hemp products are legal and
hemp may be imported to be used in products
here, but the plant itself cannot legally be grown
in the US.
Still, seven states Ñ Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine,
Maryland, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia Ñ
have changed their laws to give farmers an
affirmative right to grow industrial hemp
commercially or for research purposes. This week,
North Dakota took another step toward adopting
administrative rules and regulations to breathe some
life into its law with a public hearing Thursday.
And in California, a bill that would move the Golden
State to the hemp camp has already passed the state
Assembly and is moving in the Senate after a
legislative hearing Tuesday.
Hemp is classified as the same species as
marijuana, Cannabis sativa L., but is a different
cultivar and possesses different characteristics.
Most important, legally, hemp is distinguished from
marijuana by its very low levels of THC, the primary
psychoactive component in marijuana. Hemp plants
typically contain THC levels under 1%. In the
Dakotas, feral hemp, or "ditch weed," descended from
the "victory hemp" of World War II grows everywhere,
and, as local farm boy wisdom puts it: "You could
smoke a joint the size of a telephone pole, and all
you'd get is a sore throat and a headache."
|Leno-Devore Bill to Permit Farming of Industrial Hemp Passes CA Senate Public Safety Committee
Office of Assemblyman Mark Leno
June 20, 2006
SACRAMENTO, CA Ñ Assembly Bill 1147,
Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and
Assemblyman Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine) permitting
California farmers to grow industrial hemp for the
sale of seed, oil and fiber to manufacturers, passed
the Senate Public Safety Committee today on a vote
of 4 to 2.
"California farmers are missing out on a
multimillion dollar market that already exists in
California," said Assemblyman Mark Leno. "Hundreds
of hemp products are made right here in California,
but manufactures are forced to import hemp seed, oil
and fiber from other countries. This measure will
allow California to lead the way in tapping into a
$270 million industry that's growing by $26 million
Sponsored by Vote Hemp, AB 1147 would
California farmers to grow industrial hemp, a
variety of cannabis that grows up to 16 feet tall,
resembles bamboo, and has no psychoactive
properties. Under the bill, industrial hemp is
defined as cannabis having 0.3% THC or less and its
cultivation is only permitted as an agricultural
field crop or in a research setting. Cultivation in
groves, yards or other locations is prohibited.
Ag Commissioner Pushes for Hemp Farming
By Angela Blanchard
June 15, 2006
Clothing, cosmetics and even foods can all be
made from hemp. The products are legal. So why
aren't North Dakota farmers allowed to grow it?
"Federal rules under the DEA make it optional to
allow it or not," says Roger Johnson, North Dakota
Hemp is in the Cannabis family, like marijuana,
so the federal government regulates growing under
the Controlled Substances Act.
"Given the DEA's past on denying even research,
much less industrial growth of hemp, this could be a
huge hurdle," says State Rep. Dave Monson of