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Hemp Crop 2007: A New Year for Hemp Volume 2, Number 1
January 15, 2007

Dear Reader,

Happy New Year!

As U.S. sales of hemp products grow, so does industrial hemp acreage around the world. China, the source of most of the fiber for the U.S. hemp clothing industry, is currently cultivating nearly 2 million acres of hemp. Canada, the source of most of the seed and oil for the U.S. hemp food and personal care industries, doubled its industrial hemp production from more than 24,000 acres in 2005 to more than 48,000 in 2006. Industrial hemp had a better profit outlook than any other Canadian crop in 2006!

So, when are U.S. farmers going to get a piece of the action?

In 2006, North Dakota became the first state to begin the process of implementing a law allowing commercial industrial hemp farming. In 2007, North Dakota farmers will become the first in the nation to receive state licenses to grow industrial hemp. Significant barriers remain at the federal level, however. The first is the cost of applying for a DEA license (required by state regulations). Each farmer must pay a non-refundable annual fee of $3,440 to apply for registration with the DEA.

Many farmers simply cannot afford such an onerous fee. Thus, we have established a support fund to help those in need apply for the DEA license. It is very important to the hemp cause that a good number of applications are submitted this year.

Please donate now to Vote Hemp's North Dakota Hemp Farmer Licensing and Legal Support Fund.

Last year, North Carolina joined Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia to become the 14th state to pass a resolution or law laying the groundwork for commercial hemp farming. In 2007, Vote Hemp will be focusing our efforts on states that have considered but not yet successfully passed hemp laws or resolutions, including Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

In addition to North Carolina, California and Vermont also considered hemp bills in 2006. The California bill came the closest to victory, passing both houses of the legislature, only to be vetoed at the last minute by Governor Schwarzenegger. This year, Vote Hemp will continue to work in California, Vermont and the other states mentioned above to remove barriers in state law to industrial hemp farming.

In the 109th Congress, Rep. Ron Paul introduced the first-ever federal Industrial Hemp Farming Act. The bill finished the session with 11 cosponsors. In the 110th Congress, Vote Hemp will reintroduce the Industrial Hemp Farming Act and try to get an industrial hemp title included in the 2007 Farm Bill. If your Member of Congress is on the House Committee on Agriculture or one of your Senators is on the Senate Agriculture Committee, you will be an important part of Vote Hemp's 2007 Farm Bill lobbying effort.

Vote Hemp is also going to urge Congress to exercise its power of the purse and refuse to fund DEA enforcement actions against law-abiding, state-licensed industrial hemp growers. If your Member of Congress is on the House Committee on Appropriations or one of your Senators is on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Vote Hemp is going to need your help when the appropriations bills are voted on this summer.

Finally, if you enjoy reading hemp news that goes beyond legal and legislative updates, please subscribe to our Weekly News Update by clicking the "Update Profile/Email Address" link in the footer below and adding "Weekly News Update" to your Email List Options.

Thanks again for your ongoing support. We look forward with you to a very productive and progressive 2007!

Sincerely,

Eric Steenstra
President
Vote Hemp

PS Don't miss our new Vote Hemp logo hemp polo shirt gift option, thanks to the generosity of Two Jupiters. Check them out in the upper right column, or click here.

Please donate now to Vote Hemp's North Dakota Hemp Farmer Licensing and Legal Support Fund.



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