The Hemp Industries Association (HIA), the leading non-profit trade association for 24 years consisting of nearly 1,000 hemp businesses, applauds the introduction by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), of S. 2667, The Hemp Farming Act of 2018, on April 12, 2018. The Hemp Farming Act of 2018, if passed, would remove industrial hemp from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, and federally legalize commercial cultivation of the crop. The HIA supports the passage of this bill, and enjoins Congress to pass this legislation during its 115th session, thereby ending over 80 years of prohibition of the extraordinarily versatile hemp crop. Passage of this legislation would mean that American farmers may finally benefit commercially from the economic opportunity hemp offers and supply the largest consumer market for hemp products in the world—that of the U.S.
HIA Executive Director Colleen Keahey Lanier said, “The removal of industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act is critical to the advancement of hundreds of farmers and stakeholders that the HIA represents. Our association also supports state chapters whose committed leaders have been working hard to support favorable state legislation to develop agricultural pilot programs for hemp farming and domestic whole plant products since 2014.”
HIA President Joy Beckerman said, “Despite the clear language of Sec. 7606 of the Farm Bill, along with protective hemp amendments that have continued in the federal Omnibus since 2015, the DEA continues to put forth guidance and implement Rule that conflicts with legislative intent, causing state lawmakers and state and federal regulatory agencies to remain cautious. We expect research and American innovation to springboard under this proposed full legalization.”
Though the Farm Bill of 2014 included provision Sec. 7606 The Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research, which legalized cultivation of the crop for research purposes in states that permit the cultivation of hemp either through an act of legislation or by an initiative of the people; U.S. hemp industries remain constrained by lack of full commercial hemp farming legislation. Federal legalization of hemp farming, as proposed by S. 2667 will significantly advance the growth of the hemp industries in the U.S.
Information provided by the Hemp Industries Association.