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Found 11 results

  1. State Industrial Hemp Statutes State legislatures have taken action to promote industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity in recent years. A wide range of products, including fibers, textiles, paper, construction and insulation materials, cosmetic products, animal feed, food, and beverages all may use hemp. The plant is estimated to be used in more than 25,000 products spanning nine markets: agriculture, textiles, recycling, automotive, furniture, food/nutrition/beverages, paper, construction materials and personal care. While hemp and marijuana products both come from the cannabis plant, hemp is typically distinguished by its use, physical appearance and lower concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Hemp producers often grow the plant for the one or more parts — seeds, flowers and stalk. The plant is cultivated to grow taller, denser and with a single stalk. Federal Action President Obama signed the Agricultural Act of 2014, or the 2014 Farm Bill, which included Section 7606 allowing for universities and state departments of agriculture to begin cultivating industrial hemp for limited purposes. Specifically, the law allows universities and state departments of agriculture to grow or cultivate industrial hemp if: “(1) the industrial hemp is grown or cultivated for purposes of research conducted under an agricultural pilot program or other agricultural or academic research; and (2) the growing or cultivating of industrial hemp is allowed under the laws of the state in which such institution of higher education or state department of agriculture is located and such research occurs.” The law also requires that the grow sites be certified by—and registered with—their state. A bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 that would allow American farmers to produce and cultivate industrial hemp. The bill would remove hemp from the controlled substances list as long as it contained no more than 0.3 percent THC. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in consultation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, released a Statement of Principles on Industrial Hemp in the Federal Register on Aug 12, 2016, on the applicable activities related to hemp in the 2014 Farm Bill. State Action At least 35 states passed legislation related to industrial hemp. State policymakers have taken action to address various policy issues — the definition of hemp, licensure of growers, regulation and certification of seeds, state-wide commissions and legal protection of growers. Some states establishing these programs require a change in federal laws or a waiver from the DEA prior to implementation. 2017 Legislation Update 38 states and Puerto Rico considered legislation related to industrial hemp in 2017. These bills ranged from clarifying existing laws to establishing new licensing requirements and programs. At least 15 states enacted legislation in 2017 — Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, North Dakota, Nevada, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Florida, Wisconsin and Nevada authorized new research or pilot programs. The governors of Arizona and New Mexico vetoed legislation, which would have established new research programs. State Laws Related to Industrial Hemp Defining Hemp State statutes, with the exception of West Virginia, define industrial hemp as a variety of cannabis with a THC concentration of not more than 0.3 percent. West Virginia defines hemp as cannabis with a THC concentration of less than 1 percent. Many state definitions for industrial hemp specify that THC concentration is on a dry weight basis and can be measured from any part of the plant. Some states also require the plant to be possessed by a licensed grower for it to be considered under the definition of industrial hemp. Research and Pilot Programs States have passed laws creating or allowing for the establishment of industrial hemp research or pilot programs. State agencies and institutions of higher education administer these programs in order to study the cultivation, processing, and economics of industrial hemp. Pilot programs may be limited to a certain period of time and may require periodic reporting from participants and state agencies. Some states establish specific regulatory agencies or committees, rules, and goals to oversee the research programs. States may also require coordination between specific colleges or universities and the programs, in other states coordination is optional. From 2015 to 2016, seven states enacted legislation to create hemp research or pilot programs, including Pennsylvania (H.B. 976) and Hawaii (S.B. 2659). While industrial hemp research and pilot programs typically focus on studying the cultivation, processing for certain products and economic impacts of hemp, some states have specific guidelines and intended goals. Here are some examples of unique state research goals: · Colorado S.B. 184 (2014) created an Industrial Hemp Grant Research Program for state universities to research and develop hemp strains that are best suited for industrial applications and develop new seed strains. · Colorado S.B. 109 (2017) directed the commissioner of agriculture to create a group to study the feasibility hemp products' use in animal feed. · Kentucky’s industrial hemp research program studies the environmental benefit or impact of hemp, the potential use of hemp as an energy source or biofuel, and the agronomy research being conducted worldwide relating to hemp. · The North Carolina Hemp Commission studies the best practices for soil conservation and restoration in collaboration with two state universities. Licensing, Registration and Permitting To comply with state regulations for commercial and research programs, growers must be licensed, registered or permitted with the state agency overseeing the program. Requirements for registration, licenses and permits might include: · Criminal background checks. · Periodic renewals, usually every one to three years. · Registering the location or Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates of grow sites. · Record keeping and reporting any sales or distributions including to whom it was sold or distributed, including processors. · Documentation from the state agency or institution of higher education to prove the grower is participating in an approved program. The state agencies overseeing these programs are typically authorized to conduct inspections, test the plants and review records. State agencies may revoke licenses and impose civil and criminal penalties against growers who violate regulations. Seed Certification and Access Access to viable seed may present a challenge for research programs and commercial growers. To implement commercial and research hemp programs, farmers need access to seeds that are guaranteed to produce plants that fall under the legal definition of hemp. These seeds can be difficult to obtain, however, because hemp is still regulated under the federal Controlled Substances Act. In response to this problem, Colorado’s governor sent a letter to the U.S. secretary of agriculture in 2014 requesting the federal government address hemp seed regulations. States are taking independent action to regulate industrial hemp seeds. Certified seeds are usually defined as seeds that contain less than 0.3 percent THC or produce hemp plants that contain less than 0.3 percent THC. At least four states have also established specific licenses or certification programs for hemp seed distributors and producers: · California requires seed breeders to register with their local county agricultural commissioner. · Indiana allows growers who obtain an agricultural hemp seed production license to produce seeds. Licensees may then sell seeds or retain them to propagate future crops. · Maine allows the commissioner of agriculture, conservation and forestry to issue licenses to seed distributors if their seeds are from a certified seed source. · Oregon requires growers who produce hemp seeds capable of germination to register with the Oregon Department of Agriculture if they intend to sell seeds. Growers who wish to retain seeds do not need to register as a seed producer. Criminal Justice and Legalization State legislation also has removed hemp from the state’s controlled substances list and exempted industrial hemp from the statutory definition of marijuana if it is grown within specific regulations. To protect growers from criminal prosecution some states provide an affirmative defense for cannabis possession and cultivation charges under controlled substances law for licensed individuals. States may require licensees to obtain a controlled substances registration from the DEA for the affirmative defense to apply. For a summary of state laws related to industrial hemp, click on the states in the map below or see the chart for a complete list of state statutes. Note that some states laws establishing commercial industrial hemp programs require a change in federal law or waivers from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency before those programs can be implemented by the state. State Citation Summary Alabama Ala. Code § 2-8-380 to 2-8-383 and § 20-2-2 (2016) · Creates an industrial hemp research program overseen by the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries to study hemp. · The department may coordinate the study with institutions of higher education. Alaska Alaska Stat. § 03.05.010; Alaska Stat. § 03.05.100; Alaska Stat. § 03.05.076 to 03.05.079; Alaska Stat. § 11.71.900; Alaska Stat. § 17.20.020; Alaska Stat. §17.38.900 (2018) · Directs the commissioner of natural resources to adopt regulations related to industrial hemp including approved sources or varieties of seed, testing requirements, and establishing isolation distances. · Specifies registration requirements and allowable activities for registered producers of industrial hemp. · Directs the department to establish fee levels to cover regulatory costs and annually review these fee levels. · Allows for the creation of a pilot program by an institution of higher education or the Department of Natural Resources. · Defines both industrial hemp and cannabidiol oil. Amends definitions for hashish oil and marijuana. · Clarifies that the addition of industrial hemp to food does not create an adulterated food product. · Requires a report on or before Dec. 1, 2024. Arkansas Ark. Stat. Ann. § 2-15-401 et seq. (2017) · Creates the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Program including a 10-year research program. · Authorizes the State Plant Board to adopt rules to administer the research program and license growers. · Requires the State Plant Board to provide an annual report starting Dec. 31, 2018. · Allows the University of Arkansas’s Division of Agriculture and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission to work with the State Plant Board. · Establishes a separate program fund, which will include feeds collected and other sources of funding California Cal. Food and Agric. Code §81000 to 81010 (2016) · Allows for a commercial hemp program overseen by the Industrial Hemp Advisory Board within the California Department of Food and Agriculture. · Establishes registration for seed breeders. · This division will not become operative unless authorized under federal law. Colorado Colo. Rev. Stat. § 35-61-101 to 35-61-109 (2016) · Allows hemp cultivation for commercial and research purposes to be overseen by the Industrial Hemp Committee under the Department of Agriculture. · Establishes a seed certification program. · Establishes a grant program for state institutions of higher education to research new hemp seed varieties. Connecticut 2014 Conn. Acts, P.A. #14-191 (Reg. Sess.) · Created an industrial hemp feasibility study which reported to the state legislature on Jan. 1, 2015. Delaware Del. Code Ann. tit. 3 § 2800 to 2802 (2016) · Establishes an industrial hemp research program overseen by the Delaware Department of Agriculture. · Allows the department to certify institutions of higher education to cultivate hemp for research purposes. Florida S 1726 (Enacted; Effective June 16, 2017) · Directs the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to authorize and oversee the development of industrial hemp pilot projects at certain universities. Commercialization projects may be allowed after two years with certain conditions. · Authorizes the universities to develop pilot projects in partnership with public, nonprofit, and private entities; · Requires a university to submit a report within two years of establishing a pilot program. Hawaii Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 141A to 141J and § 712 (2016) · Establishes an industrial hemp pilot program overseen by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. · Allows the Board of Agriculture to certify hemp seeds. Illinois Ill. Ann. Stat. ch. 720 § 550/15.2 (2016) · Creates an industrial hemp pilot program which allows the Illinois Department of Agriculture or state institutions of higher education to grow hemp for research purposes. · Requires institutions of higher education provide annual reports to the department. Indiana Ind. Code Ann. § 15-15-13-1 to 15-15-13-17 (2016) · Allows the production and possession of hemp by licensed growers for commercial and research purposes. · Growers and handlers of hemp seeds must obtain a hemp seed production license. · Nothing in this section allows anyone to violate federal law. Kentucky Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 260.850 to 260.869 (2016) · Creates an industrial hemp research program and a commercial licensing program to allow hemp cultivation for any legal purpose. · The commercial growers’ license shall only be allowed subject to the legalization of hemp under federal law. · Growers are required to use certified seeds and may import or resell certified seeds. · Mandates the University of Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station oversee a five year hemp research program. · Creates the Industrial Hemp Commission, attached to the Agricultural Experiment Station, to oversee, among other things, the licensing, testing and implementation of regulations and rules related to hemp. Maine Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 7 § 2231 (2016) · Allows hemp growing for commercial purposes. · Establishes a license for seed distributors. Maryland Md. Agriculture Code Ann. § 14-101 (2016) · Establishes a license allowing individuals to plant, grow, harvest, possess, process, sell, or buy industrial hemp in Maryland. · Authorizes the Maryland Department of Agriculture or an institution of higher education to grow hemp for research purposes. Michigan Mich. Comp. Laws § 286.841 to 286.844 (2016) · Creates an industrial hemp research program allowing the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and institutions of higher education to grow hemp for research purposes. Massachusetts Mass. Gen. Laws. Ann. 128 § 116 to 123 (2017) · Allows for hemp to be planted, grown, harvested, possessed, bought or sold for research or commercial purposes under the regulation of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR). · Requires producers and distributors to obtain a license issued by MDAR and for persons utilizing hemp for commercial or research purposes to register with MDAR. · Directs MDAR and Commissioner of Agriculture to promulgate rules and regulations. Minnesota Minn. Stat. § 18K.01 to 18K.09 (2016) · Establishes a commercial hemp licensing program overseen by the Minnesota commissioner of agriculture. · Applicants must prove they comply with all federal hemp regulations, meaning that commercial licenses may not be available until federal law changes. · Allows the commissioner to implement an industrial hemp pilot program. Institutions of higher education may apply to participate in this program. Montana Mont. Code Ann. § 80-18-101 to 80-18-111 (2016) · Allows the Montana Department of Agriculture to implement a commercial hemp licensing program. · Requires commercial growers to use certified seeds. · Requires a federal controlled substances registration from the DEA for the affirmative defense against marijuana charges to apply. Nebraska Neb. Rev. Stat. § 2-5701 (2016) · Allows a postsecondary institution or the Nebraska Department of Agriculture to grow hemp for research purposes. Nevada Nev. Rev. Stat. § 557.010 to 557.080 (2016) · Mandates the Nevada Board of Agriculture implement an industrial hemp pilot program. · Allows institutions of higher education and the Nevada Department of Agriculture to grow hemp for research purposes. New Hampshire N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 433-C:1 to 433-C:3 (2016) · Allows institutions of higher education to cultivate hemp for research purposes. · All research must be coordinated with the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food. · All research projects must conclude within three years of commencement. New Hampshire 2014 N.H. Laws, Chap. 18 · Established a committee to study the growth and sale of industrial hemp in New Hampshire. · The study was required to report their findings by Nov. 1, 2014. New York N.Y. Agriculture and Markets Law § 505 to 508 (McKinney 2016) · Allows the growth of hemp as part of an agricultural pilot program by the Department of Agriculture and Markets and/or an institution of higher education. · The commissioner of agriculture and markets may authorize no more than 10 sites for growing hemp as part of a pilot program. · The commissioner may develop regulations to authorize the acquisition and possession of industrial hemp seeds. o 1 NYCRR 159.2 allows authorized growers to possess, grow and cultivate seeds and hemp plants. North Carolina N.C. Gen. Stat. § 106-568.50 to 106-568.54 and § 90-87(16) (2016) · Creates an agricultural hemp pilot program overseen by the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission within the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. · The commission must collaborate with North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University. North Dakota N.D. Cent. Code § 4-41-01 to 4-41-03 and § 4-05.1-05 (2016) · Allows hemp cultivation for commercial or research purposes overseen by the North Dakota agricultural commissioner. · Growers must use certified seeds. Licensees may import, resell and plant hemp seeds. · Permits the North Dakota State University-Main Research Center to conduct research on industrial hemp and hemp seeds. Oregon Or. Rev. Stat § 571.300 to § 571.315 (2016) · Allows individuals registered by the Oregon Department of Agriculture to grow hemp for commercial purposes. · Growers and handlers who intend to sell or distribute seeds must be licensed as seed producers. Pennsylvania Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. tit. 3 § 701 to 710 (Purdon 2016) · Allows institutions of higher education or the Department of Agriculture of the commonwealth to research hemp under an industrial hemp pilot program. · This chapter shall expire if the secretary of agriculture of the Commonwealth determines a federal agency is authorized to regulate hemp. Rhode Island R.I. Gen. Laws § 2-26-1 to 2-26-9 (2016) · Establishes a commercial hemp program overseen by the Department of Business Regulation. o Allows the Division of Agriculture in the Department of Environmental Management to assist the Department of Business Regulation in regulating hemp. · Growers must verify they are using certified seeds. · The department shall authorize institutions of higher education to grow hemp for research purposes. South Carolina S.C. Code Ann. § 46-55-10 to 46-55-40 (Law. Co-op 2016) · Allows hemp growth for commercial and research purposes. Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 43-26-101 to 43-26-103 (2016) · Allows commercial hemp production overseen by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. · Directs the commissioner of agriculture to develop licensing rules for processors and distributors. · Allows institutions of higher education to acquire and study seeds for research and possible certification. Utah Utah Code Ann. § 4-41-101 to 4-41-103 (2016) · Allows the Utah Department of Agriculture to grow hemp for research purposes. · Requires that the department certify institutions of higher education to grow hemp for research purposes. Vermont Vt. Stat Ann. tit. 6 § 561 to 566 (2016) · Allows for commercial hemp production overseen by the Vermont secretary of agriculture, food and markets. · Requires the registration form advise applicants that hemp is still listed and regulated as cannabis under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Virginia Va. Code § 3.2-4112 to 3.2-4120 (2016) · Authorizes research and commercial hemp programs overseen by the Virginia Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Virginia commissioner of agriculture and human services. · The commissioner must establish separate licenses for the research program and for commercial growers. · Nothing in this chapter allows individuals to violate federal laws. Washington Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 15.120.005 to 15.120.050 (2016) · Allows hemp production as part of a research program overseen by the Washington State Department of Agriculture. · Requires the department establish a seed certification program. West Virginia W. Va. Code. § 19-12E-1 to 19-12E-9 (2016) · Allows hemp production for commercial purposes by growers licensed by the West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture. · Growers must use seeds which produce plants containing less than 1 percent THC. Wisconsin Wis. Stat. §94.55; Wis. Stat. §94.67; Wis. Stat. §97.02; §348.27; Wis. Stat. §961.14; Wis. Stat. §961.32; Wis. Stat. §961.442; Wis. Stat. §961.55; Wis. Stat. §973.01 (effective Dec. 2, 2017) (Also, see 2017 Act 100 or S.B. 119.) · Directs the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) to establish a state industrial hemp program. · Includes GPS coordinates, fee payment and a criminal history search as requirements for licenses. · Directs the DATCP to establish and administer a seed certification program or designate another agency or organization to administer the program. · Requires the DATCP to create a pilot program to study the growth, cultivation and marketing of industrial hemp. · Specifies exemptions from prosecution under the state Uniform Controlled Substances Act. · Amends the definition of agricultural commodity to include industrial hemp. Wyoming Wyo. Stat. § 35-7-2101 to 35-7-2107 (effective July 1, 2017) · Authorizes the planting, growing, harvesting, possession, processing, or sale of industrial hemp for licensed individuals. · Provides for licensing requirements and rule-making authority by the state department of agriculture. · Allows the University of Wyoming and the state department of agriculture to grow industrial hemp for research purposes. · Provides an affirmative defense for marijuana possession or cultivation of marijuana for licensed industrial hemp growers. STATE STATUTES AND PUBLIC ACTS ON INDUSTRIAL HEMP RESEARCH AND CULTIVATION Source: www.ncsl.org/research/agriculture-and-rural.../state-industrial-hemp-statutes.aspx Additional Resources · NCSL Marijuana Deep Dive · Congressional Research Service’s Hemp as an Agricultural Policy, Feb. 2015 · NCSL Marijuana Overview · NCSL State Medical Marijuana Laws · What’s All the Hype about Hemp?, June 2014 State Legislatures magazine
  2. Sen. Mitch McConnell Pushes Bill To Legalize Hemp Tom Angell , CONTRIBUTORI cover the policy and politics of marijuana Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. The head of the U.S. Senate announced on Monday that he will soon be filing a bill to legalize industrial hemp and allocate federal money for cultivation of the crop. "We all are so optimistic that industrial hemp can become sometime in the future what tobacco was in Kentucky's past," U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said at a press conference alongside the state's agriculture commissioner. Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call "I will be introducing when I go back to senate a week from today," he said, legislation to "finally legalize hemp as an agricultural commodity and remove it from the list of controlled substances." McConnell has already successfully attached language to broader legislation, such as the 2014 Farm Bill and annual spending packages, that shields state industrial hemp research programs from federal interference. But confusion over what counts as research as well as issues related to the interstate transportation of hemp seeds has caused confusion as the Drug Enforcement Administration has in some cases sought to enforce federal laws that do not distinguish between hemp and marijuana. A press release from McConnell's office said the new bill will not only reclassify hemp under federal law, but "will also give hemp researchers the chance to apply for competitive federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture – allowing them to continue their impressive work with the support of federal research dollars." At the event, McConnell said that "some challenges remain today between the federal government and farmers and producers in Kentucky," arguing that his new bipartisan legislation would "remove the roadblocks altogether" by "recognizing in federal statute the difference between hemp and its illicit cousin." He added that he would soon be discussing the issue with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an longtime vocal opponent of cannabis law reform who this year rescinded Obama-era guidance that has generally allowed state to implement their own marijuana legalization laws without federal interference. In federal spending legislation enacted last week, Congress extended a policy rider that prevents the Justice Department from interfering with state medical cannabis laws. The bill also extends two provisions that protect state industrial hemp research programs. Hemp can be used to make food, clothing and many other consumer goods. McConnell, in the Monday speech, spoke about "interesting and innovative products" that are "made with Kentucky-grown hemp," such as home insulation. "That's just one of many uses Kentuckians are finding for this versatile crop," he said. While hemp products are legal to sell in the U.S., its cultivation is banned outside of the limited exemption for state research programs, so manufacturers must in many cases import the raw materials from other countries that do no prohibit hemp farming. McConnell was an original cosponsor of a standalone industrial hemp bill during the 114th Congress, but it did not receive a hearing or a vote. Last year he signed onto a nonbinding resolution approved by the Senate in recognition of Hemp History week. "Industrial hemp holds great potential to bolster the agricultural economy of the United States," the measure declared. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) will be an original cosponsor of the new bill to be introduced next month, along with a bipartisan group of other senators. Tom Angell publishes Marijuana Moment news and founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Follow Tom on Twitter for breaking news and subscribe to his daily newsletter. https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomangell/2018/03/26/sen-mitch-mcconnell-pushes-bill-to-legalize-hemp/
  3. Sen. Mitch McConnell Pushes Bill To Legalize Hemp Tom Angell , CONTRIBUTORI cover the policy and politics of marijuana Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. The head of the U.S. Senate announced on Monday that he will soon be filing a bill to legalize industrial hemp and allocate federal money for cultivation of the crop. "We all are so optimistic that industrial hemp can become sometime in the future what tobacco was in Kentucky's past," U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said at a press conference alongside the state's agriculture commissioner. Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call "I will be introducing when I go back to senate a week from today," he said, legislation to "finally legalize hemp as an agricultural commodity and remove it from the list of controlled substances." McConnell has already successfully attached language to broader legislation, such as the 2014 Farm Bill and annual spending packages, that shields state industrial hemp research programs from federal interference. But confusion over what counts as research as well as issues related to the interstate transportation of hemp seeds has caused confusion as the Drug Enforcement Administration has in some cases sought to enforce federal laws that do not distinguish between hemp and marijuana. A press release from McConnell's office said the new bill will not only reclassify hemp under federal law, but "will also give hemp researchers the chance to apply for competitive federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture – allowing them to continue their impressive work with the support of federal research dollars." At the event, McConnell said that "some challenges remain today between the federal government and farmers and producers in Kentucky," arguing that his new bipartisan legislation would "remove the roadblocks altogether" by "recognizing in federal statute the difference between hemp and its illicit cousin." He added that he would soon be discussing the issue with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an longtime vocal opponent of cannabis law reform who this year rescinded Obama-era guidance that has generally allowed state to implement their own marijuana legalization laws without federal interference. In federal spending legislation enacted last week, Congress extended a policy rider that prevents the Justice Department from interfering with state medical cannabis laws. The bill also extends two provisions that protect state industrial hemp research programs. Hemp can be used to make food, clothing and many other consumer goods. McConnell, in the Monday speech, spoke about "interesting and innovative products" that are "made with Kentucky-grown hemp," such as home insulation. "That's just one of many uses Kentuckians are finding for this versatile crop," he said. While hemp products are legal to sell in the U.S., its cultivation is banned outside of the limited exemption for state research programs, so manufacturers must in many cases import the raw materials from other countries that do no prohibit hemp farming. McConnell was an original cosponsor of a standalone industrial hemp bill during the 114th Congress, but it did not receive a hearing or a vote. Last year he signed onto a nonbinding resolution approved by the Senate in recognition of Hemp History week. "Industrial hemp holds great potential to bolster the agricultural economy of the United States," the measure declared. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) will be an original cosponsor of the new bill to be introduced next month, along with a bipartisan group of other senators. Tom Angell publishes Marijuana Moment news and founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Follow Tom on Twitter for breaking news and subscribe to his daily newsletter. https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomangell/2018/03/26/sen-mitch-mcconnell-pushes-bill-to-legalize-hemp/
  4. CBD raids Just as a landmark cannabidiol lawsuit headed to court this week, police in Tennessee carried out the largest known CBD raids in history: 23 businesses were closed and 21 individuals were cited for selling illegal marijuana products. The raids, largely at tobacco shops selling candies and vape pens containing CBD, happened outside Nashville. The raids didn’t sweep up any producers or processors, but they put the fledgling hemp industry in Tennessee on notice. Like other states, Tennessee allows hemp growing and CBD production and has a small but thriving extraction industry. But CBD possession in the Volunteer State is limited to those with certain medical conditions. “You bet this is going to spark a few bills” in the state legislature, said Harold Jarboe, a Tennessee hemp grower who wasn’t affected by the raids. “Tennessee has one of those ‘wink-wink, nudge-nudge’ CBD laws, so hopefully this will change that.” Until CBD’s legal status is clarified, Jarboe said, the hemp industry needs to avoid looking like it’s trying to appeal to children and maybe avoid even using the letters C-B-D. “We’re trying to make a health product, so we don’t do vapes, we don’t do candy,” Jarboe said. “We call it ‘hemp extract.’ It saves a lot of headaches.” https://mjbizdaily.com/week-review-alcohol-tobacco-enter-cannabis-sector-detroits-mmj-issues-tennessee-cbd-raids/ https://ag.ks.gov/docs/default-source/ag-opinions/2018/2018-005.pdf Federal appeals court hears hemp industry lawsuit challenging DEA’s position on CBD PUBLISHED: FEB 15, 2018, 5:24 PM • UPDATED: 3 DAYS AGO By Alicia Wallace, The Cannabist Staff The fate of a federal rule viewed by hemp advocates as an existential threat to their emerging industry is now in the hands of a three-judge panel. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco heard oral arguments Thursday in the Hemp Industries Association’s petition challenging the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s January 2017 rule creating a Controlled Substances Code Number for “marihuana extracts.” DEA officials claim the rule is administrative in nature and helps the agency better track research and meet international drug treaty requirements. Attorneys for a hemp industry trade association and hemp businesses argue that the DEA conflated the terms “marijuana” and “cannabis,” ultimately creating a rule that can be interpreted as scheduling cannabis and cannabinoids as illegal substances. They blame the rule for a rash of seizures of cannabidiol products. The DEA’s rule epitomizes “government overreach” and stands in opposition to intervening legislation, Robert Hoban, a Denver-based attorney representing the hemp industry, told the 9th Circuit Court judges. “There was a seismic shift in United States cannabis policy in 2014 with the enactment of the Farm Bill, specifically Section 7606, involving industrial hemp,” said Hoban, a principal of Hoban Law Group. “And that seems to have created some confusion, perhaps, with the Drug Enforcement Administration.” Hoban claimed that confusion extended to other federal, state and local enforcement agencies, which have since seized products such as hemp-derived, CBD-rich extracts. “We’ve seen this drug code utilized week after week since it’s enactment to seize, to cause criminal enforcement against lawful operators who require no DEA registration,” Hoban said. Sarah Carroll, an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, countered that the language of the rule, follow-up guidance and court briefings expressly state that the code number applies only to the controlled parts of the cannabis plant that are within the Controlled Substances Act definition of marijuana. “It does not apply at all to the parts that Congress exempted,” she said. If other enforcement agencies acted out of step with DEA-issued rules and guidance, the “remedy would be to challenge that seizure,” she said. The judges will review the arguments and briefs filed in the case, which include an amicus brief filed last month by 28 members of Congress. It could be months before an opinion is released, Hoban Law Group attorneys have said. Timeline Hemp Industries Association et al v. Drug Enforcement Administration December 2016: New DEA rule on extracts, CBD causes commotion in cannabis industry January 2017: Legal challenge filed against DEA’s new marijuana extract rule April 2017: Hemp lawsuit in federal court alleges DEA overstepped on “extracts” rule June 2017: DEA seeks dismissal of hemp industry lawsuit fighting drug code for “marihuana extracts” July 2017: With DEA digging in its heels on “marihuana extracts,” legality of CBD oil on trial in federal courts July 2017: DEA statement on CBD, hemp products and the Farm Bill July 2017: CW Hemp’s Joel Stanley says DEA position statement on CBD, hemp and Farm Bill “reckless and illegal January 2018: Hemp industry lawsuit challenging DEA’s position on CBD picks up support of 28 U.S. legislators https://www.thecannabist.co/2018/02/15/cbd-hemp-dea-marijuana-extracts-lawsuit-federal-appeals-court/99168/
  5. The hemp industry is fighting the DEA again for its right to sell hemp products, including CBD. The Drug Enforcement Agency and US Attorney Generals have spent considerable resources on hemp farmers, state hemp projects, even attacking, raiding and destroying hemp crops in Native American tribal land. Members of congress have joined in the lawsuit against the DEA. Does the DEA even know what it is doing? Why did Eric Holder say hemp was schedule 1, prosecute hemp growers his entire tenure, only to retire and say that the laws should be changed? In Olsen v Holder 2009, some interesting facts about scheduling were reported: DEA Clarifies Status of Hemp in the Federal Register in 2001. What if you are unable to determine from reading the label and from asking the manufacturer or distributor whether the product contains THC? In such circumstances, if you wish to err on the side of caution, you may freely dispose of the product. As stated in the rules that DEA published on October 9, 2001, anyone who has purchased a food or beverage product that contains THC has 120 days (until February 6, 2002) to dispose of the product without penalty under federal law. Wait, Marijuana is the leaves and flowers and hemp is the stalks and seeds? What? Defining “Industrial Hemp”: A Fact Sheet The federal Congressional Research Service issued a report March 2017. Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity Renée Johnson Specialist in Agricultural Policy March 10, 2017 What about Cannabidiol? Since the DEA has been attacking Cannabidiol hemp products, some states have been claiming CBD is illegal. Department of Public Health Position Statement CBD Product Availability in Iowa Nebraska AG issued a memo on Cannabidiol products. Indiana AG issued an opinion of CBD , while the Indiana Governor said stores will have 60 days to destroy or remove CBD products from its stores. The FDA tested some CBD products and found some products contained no CBD, some contained higher than .3% THC and other products fluctuated with percentages of CBD. Also, the FDA has stated that because CBD is being investigated as a new drug, it cannot be marketed as a dietary supplement. The FDA is ignoring history when it says CBD is a "new drug". CBD was an ingredient of Extract of Cannabis, a formulation in the US Pharmacopia dating back to 1851. The fight against hemp, marijuana, cannabis continues. https://mjbizdaily.com/congress-members-defend-cbd-blast-deas-hemp-decision/ Congress members defend CBD, blast DEA’s hemp decision Published January 12, 2018 | By Kristen Nichols In a bold show of support for the hemp industry and CBD, 28 members of Congress are asking a federal appeals court to reject the Drug Enforcement Administration’s argument that cannabidiol is a Schedule 1 drug. The Congress members filed the brief Thursday in conjunction with a pending lawsuit against the DEA. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is set to hear arguments in the case Feb. 15. The Congress members – 22 Democrats and six Republicans – argue that the DEA is “blatantly contrary” to the 2014 Farm Bill when it argues that CBD is a marijuana extract and therefore illegal. “The Farm Bill’s definition of industrial hemp includes any part of the plant, including the flower,” the Congress members argue in the brief. The members conclude that the federal agency’s rule about CBD was an “abuse of DEA’s administrative procedure and rulemaking authority.” The lawyer who wrote the brief for the Congress members, Steven Cash, told Marijuana Business Daily that Congress members took the extraordinary step of weighing in on the lawsuit in hopes of seeing the courts resolve the conflict between the Farm Bill and the DEA’s interpretation on the Controlled Substances Act. “Apart from arguing about the relative benefits, flaws and dangers of medical marijuana and hemp, it appears we’re going to solve this (conflict) through traditional avenues, the courts,” Cash said. The DEA said in late 2016 that because CBD cannot be easily extracted from non-flower parts of the cannabis plant, CBD should be considered a controlled substance. The decision brought a hasty lawsuit from the Hemp Industries Association and a CBD business. A lawyer for the hemp companies says the brief will show judges that Congress understood what it was doing when it authorized hemp production, meaning not just the stalks and seeds but the whole plant. “Congress has spoken, yet again,” Bob Hoban said in a statement. “The industrial hemp industry has seen exponential growth … and this case represents the most significant challenge the U.S. hemp industry has seen to date.”
  6. Washington, D.C. -- State lawmakers are calling on the federal government to change its drug laws to let states experiment with marijuana and hemp policy. The National Conference of State Legislatures, the de facto bipartisan group of lawmakers, passed a resolution at its annual meeting Thursday calling on the federal government to amend the Controlled Substances Act to authorize state marijuana laws and on the administration to keep its nose out of state pot policies. Read More...
  7. Kentucky Sues Federal Government Over Hemp Seeds Louisville -- Kentucky's Agriculture Department sued the federal government Wednesday, seeking the release of imported hemp seeds that have been held up by customs officials. The state said it needs to get the seeds in the ground for the spring season and each day they are held up jeopardizes the yield. The 250-pound shipment from Italy has been held for more than a week by customs officials in Louisville. "No state should have to endure what Kentucky has gone through in this process. We must take a stand against federal government overreach," Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said. Read More...
  8. Utah Doctors Endorse Medical Marijuana Tinctures This week, three Utah physicians wrote a letter to the state Controlled Substances Advisory Committee to endorse the use of medical marijuana for patients, including the use of marijuana tinctures for children suffering from debilitating illnesses, such as epilepsy. The letter was written by pediatric neurologist Dr. Francis Filloux. Filloux and his colleagues join a recent push by a Utah mother to change the state law to allow the use of cannabis oil extract. “The substance is not psychoactive or hallucinogenic,” Filloux said in his letter, which was co-signed by two other university doctors. “It has absolutely no abuse potential.” By not allowing the cannabis oil in Utah, “we would be making the decision to limit access of our children to a potentially life-improving therapy,” Filloux wrote. The Controlled Substances Advisory Committee, which is comprised of physicians, pharmacists, and law enforcement, does not have the power to simply allow any form of medical marijuana. However, they can provide recommendations about legislation to the state legislature. Utah Representative Gage Froerer has already announced that he plans to introduce a bill in January that would allow hemp products, including marijuana tinctures. Tinctures can be considered a hemp product due to their extremely low THC content. [Source]
  9. MMJ Ballot Issue OK'd for Signature Cction Posted by CN Staff on May 23, 2013 at 18:06:04 PT By Alan Johnson, The Columbus Dispatcholle Source: Columbus Dispatch Columbus -- The Ohio Ballot Board today gave backers of a proposal seeing to legalize use of medical marijuana and growing hemp the go-ahead with a 5-0 vote to begin collecting signatures for a statewide campaign. OhioRights.org, the group backing the Ohio Cannabis Rights Act, must gather 385,253 valid signatures from registered voters in 44 of Ohio's 88 counties in order to qualify for the ballot as a constitutional amendment, most likely in the fall of 2014. The deadline is July 6 for submitting issues for the November ballot this year. Read More...
  10. Vote Hemp Encourages Support for Proposed Amendment by Senator Wyden on Industrial Hemp in the Farm Bill Amendment Would Exclude Industrial Hemp From the Definition of Marijuana Vote Hemp released an action alert on Thursday encouraging support for Senator Ron Wyden's submitted last-minute amendment to the Farm Bill, S. 3240, the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012, which would exclude industrial hemp from the definition of "marihuana." According to Vote Hemp, Senator Wyden's amendment will empower American farmers by allowing them to once again grow industrial hemp, a profitable commodity with an expanding market. The cultivation of industrial hemp will be regulated by state permitting programs, like North Dakota's, and will not impact the federal government's long-standing prohibition of marijuana. [ Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon: "My amendment to the Farm Bill will change federal policy to allow U.S. farmers to produce hemp for these safe and legitimate products right here" "Industrial hemp is used in many healthy and sustainable consumer products," Sen. Wyden said. "However, the federal prohibition on growing industrial hemp has forced companies to needlessly import raw materials from other countries. My amendment to the Farm Bill will change federal policy to allow U.S. farmers to produce hemp for these safe and legitimate products right here, helping both producers and suppliers to grow and improve Oregon's economy in the process." To date, 31 states have introduced pro-hemp legislation and 17 have passed legislation, while eight states (Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia) have removed barriers to its production or research. However, despite state authorization to grow hemp, farmers in these states risk raids by federal agents and possible federal prohibition of their farms if they plant the crop, due to the failure of federal policy to distinguish oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis (i.e., industrial hemp) from psychoactive drug varieties. "This is the first time since the 1950's that language supporting hemp has come to the floor of the House or Senate for a vote," said Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp. "The last time such language was presented was the Miller's Amendment to the Marihuana Tax Act. The time is past due for the Senate as well as President Obama and the Attorney General to prioritize the crop's benefits to farmers and to take action like Rep. Paul and the cosponsors of H.R. 1831 have done. Hemp Industry Insider Eric Steenstra, Vote Hemp: "This is the first time since the 1950s that language supporting hemp has come to the floor of the House or Senate for a vote" "With the U.S. hemp industry valued at over $400 million in annual retail sales and growing, a change in federal policy to allow hemp farming would mean instant job creation, among many other economic and environmental benefits," Steenstra said. The Farm Bill is the primary agricultural and food policy tool of the federal government. The comprehensive omnibus bill is passed every five years or so by the United States Congress and deals with both agriculture and all other affairs under the purview of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Last year, for the fourth time since the federal government outlawed hemp farming in the United States more than 50 years ago, a bill was introduced by Rep. Ron Paul in the U.S. House of Representatives. If passed the bill H.R. 1831, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011, would remove restrictions on the cultivation of industrial hemp, the non-drug oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis. Senator Wyden would like to introduce a companion bill in the Senate. "Senator Wyden's effort is unprecedented and totally commendable, but in my view the existing prohibition of hemp farming stems less from current law, but rather the misinterpretation of existing law by the Obama Administration," Steenstra said. The amendment comes on the heels of the Obama Administration's reply to Vote Hemp's "We the People" petition. The response conflates industrial hemp as a Schedule I controlled substance. This contradicts the clear definition of marijuana presented in Title 21 of United States Code 802(16) that explicitly excludes the oilseed and fiber varieties of the hemp plant that are legal to manufacture, consume, process and purchase throughout the United States without penalty of controlled substance violation. The hemp farming petition and the administration's response can be found at http://wh.gov/gKH. The timing of Senator Wyden's amendment also coincides with the third annual Hemp History Weekcampaign, June 4-10, which he supports. The national grassroots education campaign organized by Vote Hemp and The Hemp Industries Association is designed to renew strong support for the return of hemp farming to the U.S. The 2012 Hemp History Week campaign will feature over 800 events in cities and towns throughout all 50 states. The language of the Sen. Wyden's amendment to the Farm Bill mirrors that of H.R. 1831, a bill introduced in the House this session. To view the amendment, please go to: http://votehemp.com/legislation About Vote Hemp Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, nonprofit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and free market for industrial hemp, low-THC oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis, and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to grow the crop. More information about hemp legislation and the crop's many uses may be found at www.VoteHemp.com or www.TheHIA.org. Source: Senator Adds Hemp Legalization To Farm Bill
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