This being a presidential election year seems
to accentuate the political nature of many
things. Hemp remains in the position that
it's in here in the United States not because
of any difference of opinion based on facts,
but primarily because of politics. We started
the legislative season this year with five
bills carried over from last year, and
because of election politics we did not
expect any new legislation to be introduced.
We had high hopes for H.267, the Hemp for
Vermont bill. Along with the agricultural
policy non-profit Rural
Vermont, we put nearly two years into getting
the hemp farming bill passed.
Our hard work seemingly paid off, but at this
point the hemp farming bill is still not certain to
become law. Supporters worked hard and made
sure that the bill moved out of committee and
got the floor vote in the Vermont Senate that
it deserved after passing in the House by an
overwhelming 126 to 9 margin. The Senate vote was
an even stronger 25 to
1! The day after Governor Douglas indicated
that he would allow H.267 to become law,
we put out the press release "Hemp
for Vermont Bill Becomes Law."
Unfortunately, that may have been premature, as
it was previously reported that a "pocket-veto"
was not an option for the Governor. Please
see the news stories below for full details
on this somewhat confusing issue with
Constitutional repercussions in Vermont.
Education on all levels, from producers and
consumers to legislators and voters,
continues to be the key to all of this, but
it is surprisingly time-consuming and
expensive. Ignorance and misinformation are
more expensive still, so it really is worth
the investment for all of us.
If you have the ability, please make a contribution
to Vote Hemp today to help us continue our
important work. Prospective North
Dakota hemp farmers Dave Monson and Wayne
still pursuing their case against the DEA, which
is being funded by our supporters like you.
Please make a
to our Hemp Farmer Licensing and Legal
Support Fund to help them out.
There are still plenty of things to do if you
cannot afford to make a cash or in-kind
donation. You can register
to vote and write your Representative in
Congress asking him or her to co-sponsor HR
1009, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of
2007, which is currently stalled in
committee. If you receive a reply, please send a copy
Election year politics are especially hard on
Minnesota had a hemp farming bill introduced
in March of 2007 which was carried over to
2008, the second part of their two-year
session. The bill was well-received and
passed out of two committees, but it was stuck in
a third committee when the House adjourned,
thus killing it.
An agriculture committee omnibus bill was also
introduced in the Minnesota House earlier
this year that passed and included a section
on "Industrial Hemp Development and
Regulation." There was a companion bill
that passed in the Senate, but without the
hemp language. The related section from the
House bill was added to the Senate bill in
conference committee, but was then removed at
the insistence of the State Patrol and
Governor Pawlenty's Washington, DC lobbyist.
The omnibus bill was ultimately signed by the
Governor, but without any hemp language.
So, we are now looking forward to the next
legislative season when we will have the
opportunity to introduce or re-introduce hemp
farming bills, study bills and resolutions on
the state and federal levels. We have already
started to lay the groundwork in Maine. All
of this will take planning, coordination and
funding. Please make a contribution
to Vote Hemp today to help us continue our
work and bring hemp farming back to America.
We depend on and truly appreciate your support!
National Outreach Coordinator
|Vermont a Hemp State? Not So Fast
By Peter Hirschfeld
The Barre Montpelier Times
June 4, 2008
Montpelier, VT — A bill that was poised to
legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp
in Vermont is now the subject of a
constitutional dispute over whether the
legislation can become law without the
Gov. James Douglas, a critic of the hemp
bill, has said the measure flies in the face
of federal statute and could ultimately
complicate marijuana eradication efforts in
Despite his opposition, a Douglas spokesman
said that the bill doesn't rise to the level
of a gubernatorial veto. And though he wasn't
willing to sign the bill himself, Douglas
forwarded the legislation last week to the
Secretary of State for her to enact the bill
into law without his signature.
But Secretary of State Deb Markowitz said
Tuesday that it's unclear whether the Vermont
Constitution requires a gubernatorial
signature or not. When the bill officially
arrives at her office, Markowitz said, she'll
seek legal advice from the Office of the
Attorney General to make a ruling.
|Markowitz Says Douglas May Have Vetoed Bill He Intended to Become Law
June 3, 2008
Montpelier, VT — Did Governor
Jim Douglas inadvertently veto the hemp bill
last week when he thought he was allowing the
legislation to become law?
Secretary of State Deb Markowitz thinks the
answer may be yes, and she wants the
Attorney General's office to make a ruling.
VPR's Bob Kinzel reports.
This is a story about how several
people can read the same twenty words of the
Vermont Constitution and come away with
vastly different opinions about the meaning
of those words.
|HIA Featured Member - Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps
Bronner's Magic Soaps makes bar and
liquid soaps and other personal care
products, certified under the USDA National
Organic Program with all major ingredients
sourced from certified Fair Trade suppliers.
Dr. Bronner's pioneered 100% post-consumer
recycled (PCR) bottles for our liquid soaps,
and we successfully helped coordinate the
hemp industry's defense against the DEA's
attempts to ban hemp foods and body care
products. We are an activist company that
donates a significant portion of our profits
to various worthwhile causes and charities.
We are fighting for meaningful organic
standards in personal care. Our employees
receive generous compensation and benefits,
including no-deductible PPO health care and
fully-funded profit-sharing. All executive
compensation is capped at five times the
lowest warehouse position.
We can trace Dr. Bronner's history back
through our family's German-Jewish soapmaking
tradition to Emanuel Bronner who was born in
1908 to a family that had been making soap
since 1858. He was a third generation
artisan, certified as a master-soapmaker
under the guild system of the time, and in
1929 he brought his recipes for high-quality
liquid and bar soaps to America, starting Dr.
Bronner's Magic Soaps in its current form in
The company enjoyed a small but loyal
following in the early years, and then in the
late 1960s, sales of the soap started to
explode. Word-of-mouth soon made Dr.
Bronner's the iconic soap of that era, and in
the decades that followed, the soaps spread
into every health food store in the U.S. and
then into mainstream retailers as well, on
its way to becoming the number-one-selling
brand of natural soap in North America.
The fourth and fifth generations of the
Bronner family that run the company today
continue to make our unsurpassed soaps with
care and integrity. 2008 marks both the 60th
anniversary of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps in
America and the 150th going back to our
family's first soap manufacture in southern
Germany. We strive to honor our heritage with
progressive business practices, while devoting
profits to worthwhile causes and charities
[If you are a member of the HIA and would
like to have your company featured here,
please submit a small selection of graphics
and a profile of no more than a few
paragraphs to firstname.lastname@example.org,
or call 207-542-4998 for more information.
Space is limited and is first-come,
first-serve. Your member profile will be seen
in The HIA Member Newsletter, as
well as in
Hemp News Update, which is read by
thousands of subscribers.]
|Buy a "Let There Be Hemp!" Tee and Help Fund a Movement!
Let There Be Hemp! (LTBH) was the seed of an idea
that manifested into a graphic design printed
on a hemp blend tee, now available for
sale via its namesake Web
40% of net profits will be donated to Vote
Hemp to help fund our educational outreach
LTBH founder and Vermont resident Dawna
Foreman, who runs a Web design and marketing
company with her husband, James, sees the
tee sales as a way to raise significant
funds for Vote Hemp: "We're a family of hemp
enthusiasts who created a cool, marketable
product at a critical time to challenge and
shift the public's perceptions and help make
The LTBH Web site is a cut-to-the-chase
learning center that offers visitors a good
array of video clips, a PBS radio interview
and links to Vote Hemp and other resources.
The idea is to draw people into discovery of
the facts surrounding industrial hemp
production and dispel the myths and
misinformation that are keeping it from being
farmed again on U.S. soil.
LTBH has a simple and aggressive goal: to get a
million people to buy
and wear Let There Be Hemp! tees and
share the profits with Vote Hemp to get
industrial hemp legalized and growing again
U.S., creating abundance for many Americans,
in all ways. "Let's imagine that one day in
the near future, the LTBH tee will
become a relic, reminding us of the time
before renewed widespread hemp farming in
more about the tees:
The shirts are made with 55% hemp, 45%
cotton fabric. This tee is soft, and it
will get softer with continued use and
features a great
fit, blocks UV rays, wicks moisture and is
The shirts are socially responsible all
the way, using sustainable hemp fiber and organic
cotton. They are produced in a safe and
environment, and the
supplier even buys carbon offsets.
The screen printer shares our value for
environmentally-friendly materials and
products. "In a
world where bio-fuel, hybrid cars,
recycling and sustainable agriculture are
becoming a necessity for our planet,
eco-friendly screen printing is another smart
choice. Combining water-based ink screen
printing with natural fibers such as organic
cotton, hemp and even recycled plastic
bottles creates a screen printing technique
that is safe for the environment and safe for
The tees sell for $39 including shipping.
You can order them through the Let There Be
Hemp! Web site or by calling 802-496-7017.
VISA and MasterCard accepted. Discount
available on orders of twenty shirts or more.
Remember, 40% of net profits will be donated
to Vote Hemp to help fund our educational
Current Action Alert
here to send a letter urging your U.S.
Representative to co-sponsor HR 1009, the
"Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2007."
Support Vote Hemp
Join the HIA!