The Bureaucracy of Hemp

07/10/2009 at 6:14 pm Leave a comment

Hemp Field

Hemp advocates continue to push hard to give back farmers the right to grow industrial hemp.  Enthusiastic supporters were thrilled by the decision of Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski to sign SB 676 into law on August 4th, 2009.  The law permits the production, trade and possession of industrial hemp commodities and products.

By signing SB 676 into law, which passed with strong bi-partisan support, Governor Kulongoski has taken a proactive position allowing farmers to provide American manufacturers with domestically grown hemp and to profit from that effort.  American companies will no longer need to import hemp and American farmers will no longer be denied a profitable, new crop.

Despite industrial hemp being legal at a State level, Oregon growers are unable to get on with their business as they are required to obtain a permit from the DEA which is on the Federal level.   Washington still classifies hemp as an illegal drug in the same category as marijuana instead of identifying it as the agricultural crop that it is.  This sort of bureaucratic nonsense in turn  prevents farmers from moving forward, leading to little progress for the state’s nascent industry.

Industrial hemp can be used in a wide variety of products including auto parts, building materials, fuels, paper, clothing and food to name a few.  The HIA estimates that the 2008 retail sales of all hemp products in North America to be about $360 million.  By allowing US farmers once again to grown hemp, legislators can clear the way for a new Billion Dollar Crop!

To find out what you can do to encourage and support domestic hemp farming, visit Vote Hemp for more information.

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