PRESS RELEASE: Farm Bill Conference Report Includes Language to Allow Legal Study, Pilot Programs of Hemp

Jan 28, 2014 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Farming

For Immediate Release                                                                            

Date: January 28, 2014

Farm Bill Conference Report Includes Language to Allow Legal Study, Pilot Programs of Hemp

Washington, DC – In June 2013, Representatives Jared Polis (CO-02), Thomas Massie (KY-04) and Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) included an amendment to the Farm Bill, H.R. 1947, that would allow colleges and universities to grow industrial hemp for research purposes in states where it is already legal to do so.

This amendment was included in the version of the Farm Bill which passed the House in July and is included in the final bill after conference with the Senate, which the House will be voting on tomorrow. Not only is the research amendment included, but the bill contains additional expanded language allowing for “agricultural pilot programs” to study the growth and marketing of industrial hemp in states where hemp is legal. Only institutions of higher education and State Departments of Agricultures would be allowed to grow industrial hemp.

“I am pleased that this bipartisan, common sense amendment that I offered with Representatives Blumenauer and Massie was included in the final FARM bill,” said Polis. “For far too long, states that have legalized the growth and cultivation of industrial hemp have been unable to conduct academic research on this important and historic crop. This is a step in the right direction towards utilizing this crop in a way that improves our economy and creates jobs.”

"This is an important victory for farmers, manufacturers, and consumers in Kentucky and across the country,” said Massie. “Our amendment paves the way for production of industrial hemp by first allowing America's academic and research institutions to demonstrate that hemp and the products derived from hemp present a great economic opportunity for our country.”

“The inclusion of our industrial hemp amendment in the farm bill reflects widespread support for cultivating industrial hemp and proves Congress can work together in a bipartisan fashion to help the American economy at a time when creating jobs is a national priority," Massie continued. “I am further encouraged to continue working with Congressmen Blumenauer, Polis, and Schrader to pass HR 525, our standalone industrial hemp bill that will eventually permit all farmers to cultivate hemp in states like Kentucky that allow it."

“The inclusion of our industrial hemp amendment and expanded language is a very promising and important step in the right direction,” said Blumenauer. “From Oregon to Colorado to Kentucky, voters across the country have made it clear that they believe industrial hemp should be regulated as an agricultural commodity, not a drug. The inclusion of this amendment sends a symbol that we are ready to examine hemp in a more appropriate way.”

 

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