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The Hemp Report

An online trade journal covering the North America hemp industry: agriculture, processing, marketing, research, business and regulatory news, and updates. Strong focus on hemp farming and developments in Canada.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hemp News Update 


     Election year politics are especially hard on hemp farming and study bill legislation. Minnesota had a hemp farming bill introduced in March of 2007 which was carried over to 2008, the second part of their two-year session. The bill was well-received and passed in two committees, but it was stuck in a third committee when the House adjourned, thus killing it.

     An agriculture committee omnibus bill was introduced in the Minnesota House earlier this year that passed and included a section on "Industrial Hemp Development and Regulation." There was also a companion bill that passed in the Senate, but without the hemp language. The related section from the House bill was added to the Senate bill in conference committee, but was then removed at the insistence of the State Patrol and Governor Pawlenty's Washington, DC lobbyist. The omnibus bill was ultimately signed by the Governor, but without any hemp language.

     We hope that the popular hemp farming bill in Vermont (H.267) does not suffer a similar fate. The bill passed the House in February by a vote of 126 to 9, and then passed the Senate by a vote of 25 to 1 earlier this month. We are awaiting word on when H.267 will be sent to Governor Douglas for his veto or signature. Unfortunately, the Governor's option to allow bills to become law without his signature was taken away this session when the Legislature adjourned without establishing a veto session.

     There are still plenty of things to do while we wait. You can register to vote and then click here to write your Representative in Congress and ask him or her to co-sponsor HR 1009, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2007, which is currently stalled in committee.


posted by Tom  # 5:42 PM (0) comments

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Hemp News Update 


     This being a presidential election year seems to accentuate the political nature of many things. Hemp remains in the position that it's in here in the United States not because of any difference of opinion based on facts, but because of politics. We started the legislative season this year with five bills carried over from last year, and because of election politics we did not expect any new legislation to be introduced. In The Hemp News Update earlier this year, I stated that we had high hopes for H.267, the hemp farming bill in Vermont. Late last week, after years of hard work by many people, politics very nearly killed the bill.

     Supporters of Vote Hemp and the agricultural policy non-profit Rural Vermont made sure that the bill moved out of committee and got the floor vote in the Vermont Senate that it deserved after passing in the House by a vote of 126 to 9. The Senate vote late last Thursday was 25 to 1!

     A lot of people seem to think that the legislative process is too arcane, that it's too hard to understand, and that they can't make a difference. They are wrong. You can and do make a difference! Vote Hemp and Rural Vermont sent out a series of Action Alerts last week asking supporters of the hemp farming bill in Vermont to call key Senators. Our featured story "Senate Passes Bill Legalizing Industrial Hemp Cultivation" and the Bennington Banner story "Hemp Bill Moves to Full Senate Vote" clearly confirm that focused action works.

     If you live in Vermont, the next step is to call Governor Douglas and write letters to the editor. (Vermonters only, please!) It is important as a "pocket-veto" is not an option for the Governor. Others can still register to vote and click here to write your Representative in Congress and ask him or her to co-sponsor HR 1009, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2007, which is currently stalled in committee.


posted by Tom  # 11:41 AM (0) comments


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