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This has been one of those weeks that hemp supporters dream about! The North Dakota Department of Agriculture issued a News Release on proposed rules for the production of industrial hemp in that state. Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson has scheduled a public hearing for 10 a.m., June 15, 2006 in Lecture Room B in the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck, ND. Farmers in North Dakota won't be joining their Canadian counterparts in planting hemp this spring, but perhaps they will in the near future. Vote Hemp issued a Press Release on this subject as well.
As you can imagine, most of the week's hemp news was in response to these two press releases. Two of the stories were by James MacPherson of The Associated Press. One story was "N.D. Pushing Ahead With Hemp Farming Rules" the other "State's first hemp farming rules aimed at clearing federal hurdle". It is an interesting exercise to compare and contrast the two stories. The quote by DEA special agent Steve Robertson "It's very simple for us: The law is there and we enforce the law. We are law enforcement, not lawmakers." is technically accurate, but DEA does have pretty wide latitude in creating rules. It would be possible for DEA to create rules under existing law that would accommodate hemp farming. Jon Gettman mentioned the possibility of negotiated rules in the story "Plan B: a new option for breaking the impasse on US hemp policy" in Hemp Times, Spring 2000. H.R 3037 Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2005 could pass as well. Who knows how this will all turn out for those of you in the States.
Also interesting was the fact that the story about the proposed hemp farming rules in North Dakota was also mentioned in ag publications like Agriculture Online and Agri News as well in small blurbs in the farm sections of papers like the York Dispatch.
Please be sure to vote in the poll in the story ND AGRICULTURE: Plan would allow hemp which was the best of the bunch.
There were also stories about the possibility of hemp legislation in the state of Wisconsin, very interesting to see all of the law enforcement objections to industrial hemp and the Wisconsin players mentioned all in one place. Another on the sixth annual Hemp Hoe Downsixth annual Hemp Hoe Down, at the Elk View Campground near Piedmont, South Dakota starting this Friday, May 12th. More information is available at the Hemp Hoe Down web site. And lastly one on hemp clothing, the newest trend in fashion.
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