check out vote hemp, inc. to define natural reality:
such as resistence from viewing from financial perspective vs nutritional.
planting to be done from small farm land/seas/water use perspective.
not just support this bill + then Monsana gets right to monoculture + control as in other's presently doing
local + globally..
don't just be misinformed, lets start collecting input reality.
plus i would like to order sproutable eatable hemp in the US now. so i'm looking. it's a great food for
replacing nutritional offerings - from animal/fish + much better then flax + olive oil..
even though added in our diet with all else is very good..
lets do our homework..
For Immediate Release
Friday, April 3, 2009
CONTACT: Tom Murphy 207-542-4998
Adam Eidinger 202-744-2671
Representatives Barney Frank and Ron Paul Introduce Hemp Farming Legislation - HR 1866
WASHINGTON, DC — A federal bill was introduced yesterday that, if passed into law, would remove restrictions on the cultivation of non-psychoactive industrial hemp. The chief sponsors of HR 1866, "The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009," Representatives Barney Frank (D-MA) and Ron Paul (R-TX), were joined by nine other U.S. House members split equally between Republicans and Democrats.
"It is unfortunate that the federal government has stood in the way of American farmers, including many who are struggling to make ends meet, from competing in the global industrial hemp market," said Representative Ron Paul during his introduction of the bill yesterday before the U.S. House. "Indeed, the founders of our nation, some of whom grew hemp, would surely find that federal restrictions on farmers growing a safe and profitable crop on their own land are inconsistent with the constitutional guarantee of a limited, restrained federal government. Therefore, I urge my colleagues to stand up for American farmers and co-sponsor the Industrial Hemp Farming Act," concluded Paul.
"With so much discussion lately in the media about drug policy, it is surprising that the tragedy of American hemp farming hasn't come up as a 'no-brainer' for reform," says Vote Hemp President, Eric Steenstra. "Hemp is a versatile, environmentally-friendly crop that has not been grown here for over fifty years because of a politicized interpretation of the nation's drug laws by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). President Obama should direct the DEA to stop confusing industrial hemp with its genetically distinct cousin, marijuana. While the new bill in Congress is a welcome step, the hemp industry is hopeful that President Obama's administration will prioritize hemp's benefits to farmers. Jobs would be created overnight, as there are numerous U.S. companies that now have no choice but to import hemp raw materials worth many millions of dollars per year," adds Steenstra.
U.S. companies that manufacture or sell products made with hemp include Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, a California company who manufactures the number-one-selling natural soap, and FlexForm Technologies, an Indiana company whose natural fiber materials are used in over two million cars on the road today. Hemp food manufacturers, such as French Meadow Bakery, Hempzels, Living Harvest, Nature's Path and Nutiva, now make their products from Canadian hemp. Although hemp now grows wild across the U.S., a vestige of centuries of hemp farming here, the hemp for these products must be imported. Hemp clothing is made around the world by well-known brands such as Patagonia, Bono's Edun and Giorgio Armani.
There is strong support among key national organizations for a change in the federal government's position on hemp. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) "supports revisions to the federal rules and regulations authorizing commercial production of industrial hemp." The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has also passed a pro-hemp resolution.
Numerous individual states have expressed interest in and support for industrial hemp as well. Sixteen states have passed pro-hemp legislation, and eight states (Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia) have removed barriers to its production or research. North Dakota has been issuing state licenses to farmers for two years now. The new bill will remove federal barriers and allow laws in these states regulating the growing and processing of hemp to take effect.
"Under the current national drug control policy, industrial hemp can be imported, but it can't be grown by American farmers," says Steenstra. "The DEA has taken the Controlled Substances Act's antiquated definition of marijuana out of context and used it as an excuse to ban industrial hemp farming. The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009 will return us to more rational times when the government regulated marijuana, but allowed farmers to continue raising industrial hemp just as they always had."
# # #
Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, nonprofit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and free market for low-THC industrial hemp and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow this agricultural crop. More information about hemp legislation and the crop's many uses may be found at www.VoteHemp.com or www.HempIndustries.org. BETA SP or DVD Video News Releases featuring footage of hemp farming in other countries are available upon request by contacting Adam Eidinger at 202-744-2671.
>>>>>>>>>>>>some history of legal acts
DEA Hemp Food Rules
QUICK CLICK GUIDE: Click on the links below (please read the Background first)
Background on the Hemp Food Controversy - Read this first.
Hemp and Hemp Seed & Oil Nutrition - A summary of the benefits of hemp.
DEA Rules and Historical Overview: Documents - Read all the legal filings and documents related to the hemp food controversy.
Send a Pre-Written Email, Fax or Letter - Let Congress know how you feel about hemp.
Contribute to Vote Hemp - We need your support for the industry's legal efforts.
Sign Up for the Vote Hemp Action Alert Email List - Stay informed about the hemp industry and hemp legislation.
Buy Hemp Food Products - Buy products from certified TestPledge companies to support hemp industry development. Vote with your wallet.
Background on the Hemp Food Controversy
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) originally published a rule regarding industrial hemp products in the Federal Register on October 9, 2001, which was effective immediately. Without any compelling reason or the required public notice and comment period, the DEA issued an Interpretive Rule banning hemp seed and oil food products that contain any amount of trace residual THC. In response, the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and several other plaintiffs filed an "Urgent Motion for Stay" of the DEA interpretive rule, and on March 7, 2002, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay of the interpretive rule. The stay remained in effect and hemp foods continued to be sold at thousands of locations across the country while the case was litigated.
Also on October 9, the DEA issued an Interim Rule exempting hemp body care and fiber products from DEA control and a Proposed Rule which would add language to the Controlled Substances Act making hemp food products illegal to sell or posess if they contained "any" THC.
After extensive meetings and discussions with most of the major hemp food companies, it became clear that according to the official Health Canada testing protocol these hemp food companies' products generally did not have any detectable THC and should therefore remain perfectly legal for resale and consumption.
However, since the DEA had not specified a detection protocol and a corresponding de minimus limit of detection, companies had no way of knowing for sure if their products would be legal under the DEA's new rules.
Hemp seeds and oil have absolutely no psychoactive effect, and are about as likely to be abused as poppy seed bagels for their trace opiate content or fruit juices for their trace alcohol content (present through natural fermentation). Furthermore, the hemp industry has established the science-based TestPledge program. TestPledge companies clean their seed and oil to assure consumers a wide margin of safety from falsely confirming positive in a workplace drug-test even when eating an unrealistic amount of hemp food daily. The DEA's actions were especially puzzling, as they had not targeted poppy seed manufacturers for the trace opiates present in their products. In fact, the U.S. government raised drug-test thresholds for opiates in the 1990's to accommodate the poppy seed industry.
On March 21, 2003, the DEA published two new Final rules regarding industrial hemp products in the Federal Register, which were scheduled to go into effect on April 21, 2003. Despite overwhelming opposition, the DEA issued a Final Clarification Rule banning hemp seed and oil food products that contain any amount of trace residual THC. The DEA also issued a Final Interim Rule exempting hemp body care and fiber products from DEA control; however, this rule did not allow hemp seed and oil to be imported for processing and manufacturing in the U.S. thereby effectively destroying body care manufacturers' ability to obtain the hemp oil they need to make their products.
On March 28, 2003, the Hemp Industries Association, several hemp food and body care companies and the Organic Consumers Association filed an Urgent Motion for Stay in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The industry was optimistic that the Court would grant the Stay, given previous Court action on the issue. In the meantime, the law of the land affirming hemp food's legality remained in effect.
On February 6, 2004 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a unanimous decision in favor of the HIA in which Judge Betty Fletcher wrote, "[T]hey (DEA) cannot regulate naturally-occurring THC not contained within or derived from marijuana-i.e. non-psychoactive hemp is not included in Schedule I. The DEA has no authority to regulate drugs that are not scheduled, and it has not followed procedures required to schedule a substance. The DEA's definition of "THC" contravenes the unambiguously expressed intent of Congress in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and cannot be upheld". On September 28, 2004 the HIA claimed victory after DEA declined to appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States the ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals protecting the sale of hemp-containing foods. Industrial hemp remains legal for import and sale in the U.S., but U.S. farmers still are not permitted to grow it.
The summary "Agency Issues Legislative Rule in Violation of Administrative Procedures Act" by Harrison M. Pittman of the National Agricultural Law Center is an excellent overview of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in HIA v. DEA.
Hemp and Hemp Seed & Oil Nutrition
Hemp seed is one of nature's most perfect sources for human nutrition. In addition to its excellent flavor profile, the seed supplies all the essential amino acids in an easily digestible form with a high protein efficiency ratio. Hemp oil offers high concentrations of the two essential fatty acids (EFAs) omega-3 and omega-6 in perfect balance. This superior nutritional profile makes shelled hemp seed and oil ideal for a wide range of functional food applications and as an effective fatty acid supplement. Not surprisingly, shelled hemp seed and oil are increasingly used in natural food products, such as corn chips, nutrition bars, hummus, non-dairy milks, pretzels, breads and cereals.
The high and balanced essential fatty acid content of hemp oil also makes it ideal as a topical ingredient in both leave-on and rinse-off body care products. The EFAs help soothe and restore skin in lotions and creams and give excellent emolliency and smooth afterfeel to lotions, lip balms, conditioners, shampoos, soaps and shaving products.
Hemp food and body care products have penetrated the mainstream marketplace. Estimated retail sales for hemp food and body care products in the U.S. exceeded $40 million in 2002, up from less than $1 million in the early 1990s. Sales increased even during the course of the lawsuit, despite the DEA's scare tactics, and rapid growth is expected to continue.
Poppy seeds contain trace opiates, fruit juice contains trace alcohol, hemp seeds contain trace THC. Trace contaminants exist in nature and in our food supply, and our government regulatory agencies set limits to protect consumer health. The hemp industry has responsibly addressed all health, safety and drug-testing issues with a wide margin of safety, and would like to formalize TestPledge standards with governmental sanction. However, the DEA does not want to acknowledge the truth about hemp seed and oil foods: they are a superior nutritional resource for humans.
Hemp offers environmental advantages and has a long history of use for paper, textiles, cordage and birdseed, and is a nutritional food and superior body care ingredient as well. Hemp is now being grown in over 30 countries including Australia, Canada, China, England, France, Germany and Spain. Each of these countries has adopted regulatory models that allow for safe human consumption of hemp products. The U.S. is the only industrialized nation that does not recognize the utility of hemp and allow is growth. Legislation relating to hemp has been passed in numerous states to date. Even the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has adopted a resolution calling for changes to federal laws to allow for domestic hemp cultivation.
The DEA's new rules would have caused substantial harm to hemp businesses and consumers alike and were not based on any real threat or abuse potential. Like poppy seed, hemp seed is clearly exempted from the Controlled Substances Act by Congress. See 21 U.S.C. §802(16), (19) and (20).
We need to let Congress know that the DEA's actions were wrong and educate them about the benefits of hemp. Please take a moment to write Congress today by clicking here to send a pre-written email, fax or letter.
The industry spent over $200,000 fighting the DEA over hemp food. Please make a donation to Vote Hemp now to help cover our legal expenses. Click here to donate now.
Then, we request that you vote with your wallet and buy as much nutritious hemp food as you can from your local retailer or the companies listed at TestPledge. Hemp seed is a phenomenal omega-3/omega-6 EFA resource, with all essential amino acids and marvelous flavor. Please support the cause and your health.
To see recent press releases and assorted media coverage, click here.
DEA Rules and Historical Overview: Documents
9th Circuit Orders DEA to Pay Hemp Industry Plaintiff's Legal Bills - February 2, 2005
Hemp Industry Files for Reimbursement of Legal Fees -
9th Circuit Denies DEA Petition for Rehearing (PDF file 75k)
Issued by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - June 28, 2004
DEA Files Petition for En Banc Rehearing -
9th Circuit Grants Additional Extension to Appeal - May 26, 2004
DEA Files for Additional Extension to Appeal - May 24, 204
9th Circuit Grants Extension to Appeal - April 23, 2004
DEA Files for Extension to Appeal - April 22, 2004
9th Circuit Opinion Invalidating DEA Final Rules (PDF file 71k)
Issued by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - February 6, 2004
(Please click here for same opinion via FindLaw)
HIA v. DEA - Oral Arguments (PDF file 93k)
Heard in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - September 17, 2003
Listen to the oral arguments here (Real Audio file)
HIA v. DEA - Petitioners Reply to DEA Reply Brief (PDF file 210k)
Filed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - August 11, 2003
HIA v. DEA - DEA Reply to HIA Opening Brief (PDF file 229k)
Filed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - July 25, 2003
9th Circuit Opinion Invalidating DEA Interpretive Rule (PDF file 80k)
Issued by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - June 30, 2003
Please click here for same opinion via FindLaw
HIA v. DEA - Amicus Curiae Brief filed by DKT Liberty Project in Support of Petitioners (PDF file 138k)
Filed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - June 26, 2003
HIA v. DEA - Opening Brief Re: DEA's Final Rules (PDF file 334k)
Filed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - June 24, 2003
Court Order Staying DEA Final Clarification Rule (PDF file 29k)
Issued by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - April 16, 2003
HIA Response to DEA Reply (PDF file 182k)
Filed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - April 14, 2003
DEA Reply to Petitioners Urgent Motion for Stay (PDF file 1.3m)
Filed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - April 9, 2003
Petitioners Urgent Motion for Stay Pending Review (PDF file 137k)
Filed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - March 28, 2003
DEA Final Clarification Rule (PDF file 118k)
Published in the Federal Register - March 21, 2003
DEA Final Exemption Rule (PDF file 64k)
Published in the Federal Register - March 21, 2003
9th Circuit Order Granting Petitioners Motion to Stay (PDF file 43k)
Issued by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - March 7, 2002
Dear Colleague Letter to DEA (PDF file 123k)
Sent to the DEA and signed by 22 members of Congress - March 7, 2002
Also see letters from Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Reps. Patsy Mink and Neil Abercrombie (D-HI)
(PDF files 32k, 346k and 27k, respectively)
Petitioners Reply to DEA Opposition of Emergency Status (PDF file 47k)
Filed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - February 22, 2002
Includes the declarations of Gero Leson, D Env. and Hawaii
Rep. Cynthia Thielen in support of Emergency Motion
Petitioners Reply to DEA Reply on Opening Brief (PDF file 31k)
Filed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - February 20, 2002
DEA Reply to Request for Emergency Status (PDF file 28k)
Submitted by the DEA to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - February 15, 2002
DEA Reply to Petitioners Opening Brief (PDF file 46k)
Submitted by the DEA to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - February 7, 2002
DEA Grace Period Extension Letter to Court (PDF file 8k)
Submitted by the DEA to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - February 7, 2002
This is the letter extending the grace period for 40 additional days to
March 18, 2002
Petitioners Request for Emergency Status (PDF file 11k)
Filed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - February 6, 2002
Amicus Curiae Brief of the DKT Liberty Project in Support of Petitioners (PDF file 138k)
Filed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - January 14, 2002
Petitioners Opening Brief Requesting Review of DEA Rule (PDF file 59k)
Filed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - January 7, 2002
Industry Comment Letter to DEA on Proposed Rule (PDF file 80k)
Delivered to the DEA - December 10, 2001
Petitioners Response To DEA Reply (PDF file 20k)
Filed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - November 15, 2001
DEA Response to Petitioners Motion for Stay (PDF file 29k)
Filed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - November 8, 2001
Petitioners Urgent Motion for Stay Pending Review (PDF file 39k)
Filed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - October 19, 2001
DEA Interpretive Rule (PDF file 105k)
Published in the Federal Register - October 9, 2001
DEA Proposed Rule (PDF file 42k)
Published in the Federal Register - October 9, 2001
DEA Interim Rule (PDF file 53k)
Published in the Federal Register - October 9, 2001
DEA Clarifies Status of Hemp in the Federal Register
DEA Press Release - October 9, 2001
To read additional early history of the case please click here.
To read Vote Hemp press releases about the case please click here.
end this article>>>>>>>>>
begin another<<<<<<<<<<<< U.S. State Industrial Hemp Legislation
To date, twenty-eight states have introduced hemp legislation and sixteen have passed legislation; nine (Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia) have removed barriers to its production or research.
All state hemp bills and resolutions introduced since 1995 are archived in individual state pages, which are accessed in the clickable map of the United States below. The bills are also listed on a single table on our State Legislation page.
Please see our State Legislation page for much more information.
U.S. Federal Industrial Hemp Legislation
On April 2, 2009 Rep. Ron Paul introduced H.R. 1866, the "Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2007," with ten original co-sponsors: Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), Barney Frank (D-MA), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Tom McClintock (R-CA), George Miller (D-CA), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Pete Stark (D-CA), and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).
Please see our Federal Legislation page for much more information.
State Hemp Resolution
We have crafted a draft of a resolution, which is intended to be passed by state legislatures, that urges Congress to recognize industrial hemp as a valuable agricultural commodity and to pass legislation that removes barriers to state regulation of the commercial production of industrial hemp. This is also a great way to to educate state legislators and get a hemp farming bill passed in the future as well.
If you are a state legislator and would like more information on writing and passing a resolution like the ones below, please email us and we would be happy to help you. Please find more resources on writing state resolutions on our State Hemp Resolution page.
In 2005, we reached a major milestone ... for the first time since the federal government outlawed hemp farming in the United States, a federal bill was introduced that would remove restrictions on the cultivation of non-psychoactive industrial hemp. At a Capitol Hill lunch on June 23, 2005 marking the introduction of H.R. 3037, the "Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2005," Congressional staffers were treated to a delicious gourmet hemp lunch while listening to various prominent speakers tout the myriad benefits of encouraging and supporting a domestic hemp industry.
The bill was written with the help of Vote Hemp by chief sponsor Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), and it garnered 11 additional co-sponsors. The bill defined industrial hemp and assigned authority over it to the states, allowing laws in those states regulating the growing and processing of industrial hemp to take effect.
On February 13, 2007 Rep. Ron Paul introduced H.R. 1009, the "Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2007," with nine original co-sponsors. The bill was assigned to comittee, but never received a hearing or a floor vote.
On April 2, 2009 Rep. Ron Paul introduced H.R. 1866, the "Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009," with ten original co-sponsors: Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), Barney Frank (D-MA), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Tom McClintock (R-CA), George Miller (D-CA), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Pete Stark (D-CA), and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).
Please see the Quick Links below for much more information.
Quick Links Concerning H.R. 1866
"Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009"
Take action and write to your Representative
Read the bill full text (PDF file 160k)
THOMAS (Library of Congress) bill information
Vote Hemp's automatically updated page of the THOMAS information
CRS Report: Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity (PDF file 100k)
Read Rep. Paul's House floor comments
Read our press release announcing the bill
1ST SESSION H. R. 1866
To amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from
the definition of marihuana, and for other purposes.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
APRIL 2, 2009
Mr. PAUL (for himself, Ms. BALDWIN, Mr. CLAY, Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts,
Mr. GRIJALVA, Mr. HINCHEY, Mr. MCCLINTOCK, Mr. GEORGE
MILLER of California, Mr. ROHRABACHER, Mr. STARK, and Ms. WOOLSEY)
introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee
on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary,
for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each
case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of
the committee concerned
To amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial
hemp from the definition of marihuana, and for
1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa2
tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
3 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
4 This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Industrial Hemp
5 Farming Act of 2009’’.
VerDate Nov 24 2008 00:32 Apr 07, 2009 Jkt 079200 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6201 E:\BILLS\H1866.IH H1866 rfrederick on PROD1PC67 with BILLS
•HR 1866 IH
1 SEC. 2. EXCLUSION OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP FROM DEFINI2
TION OF MARIHUANA.
3 Paragraph (16) of section 102 of the Controlled Sub4
stances Act (21 U.S.C. 802(16)) is amended—
5 (1) by striking ‘‘(16)’’ at the beginning and in6
serting ‘‘(16)(A)’’; and
7 (2) by adding at the end the following new sub8
9 ‘‘(B) The term ‘marihuana’ does not include indus10
trial hemp. As used in the preceding sentence, the term
11 ‘industrial hemp’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and
12 any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a
13 delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not
14 exceed 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.’’.
15 SEC. 3. INDUSTRIAL HEMP DETERMINATION TO BE MADE
16 BY STATES.
17 Section 201 of the Controlled Substances Act (21
18 U.S.C. 811) is amended by adding at the end the following
19 new subsection:
20 ‘‘(i) INDUSTRIAL HEMP DETERMINATION TO BE
21 MADE BY STATES.—In any criminal action, civil action,
22 or administrative proceeding, a State regulating the grow23
ing and processing of industrial hemp under State law
24 shall have exclusive authority to determine whether any
25 such plant meets the concentration limitation set forth in
VerDate Nov 24 2008 00:32 Apr 07, 2009 Jkt 079200 PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6201 E:\BILLS\H1866.IH H1866 rfrederick on PROD1PC67 with BILLS
•HR 1866 IH
1 subparagraph (B) of paragraph (16) of section 102 and
2 such determination shall be conclusive and binding.’’.
VerDate Nov 24 2008 00:32 Apr 07, 2009 Jkt 079200 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6301 E:\BILLS\H1866.IH H1866 rfrederick on PROD1PC67 with BILLS
begin<<<<<Order Code RL32725
Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity
Updated March 23, 2007
Jean M. Rawson
Specialist in Agricultural Policy
Resources, Science, and Industry Division
Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity
In February 2007, legislation was introduced that would open the way for
commercial cultivation of industrial hemp in the United States (H.R. 1009; in the
109th Congress, H.R. 3037). The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2007 would
amend Section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802(16)) to specify
that the term “marijuana” does not include industrial hemp. Such a change would
mean that state law would determine whether producers could grow and process
industrial hemp within state borders, under state regulations. Currently, the Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA) determines whether any industrial hemp
production authorized under a state statute will be permitted, and it enforces
standards governing the security conditions under which the crop must be grown.
The terms “hemp” and “industrial hemp” refer to varieties of Cannabis sativa
characterized by low levels of the primary psychoactive chemical
(tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC) in their leaves and flowers. Although total industrial
hemp acreage worldwide is small, farmers in more than 30 countries grow the crop
commercially for fiber, seed, and oil for use in a variety of industrial and consumer
products, including food.
Because of the psychoactive properties of some varieties of Cannabis (which
can grow virtually anywhere in the United States), the federal government first began
to control production in the late 1930s under the Marihuana Tax Act (50 Stat. 551).
In 1970, production of all varieties of Cannabis, regardless of THC content and
intended use, became tightly regulated under the Controlled Substances Act (21
U.S.C. §§802 et seq.). As a result, all hemp or hemp-containing products sold in the
United States must now be imported or manufactured from imported hemp.
In the early 1990s a sustained resurgence of interest in allowing commercial
cultivation of industrial hemp began in the United States. Farmers in regions of the
country that are highly dependent upon a single crop, such as tobacco or wheat, have
shown interest in its potential as a high-value alternative crop, although the economic
studies conducted so far paint a mixed profitability picture. Over the past decade,
more than 25 states have passed laws calling for economic or production studies.
The DEA has been unwilling to grant licenses for growing small plots of hemp
for research purposes (as authorized by some state laws), and beginning in 1999 it
made an effort, which it ultimately abandoned in 2004 following an unfavorable
court decision, to ban imports of hemp food products that could contain trace
amounts of THC. DEA officials express the concern that commercial cultivation
would increase the likelihood of covert production of high-THC marijuana,
significantly complicate DEA’s surveillance and enforcement activities, and send the
wrong message to the American public concerning the government’s position on
This report will be updated if events warrant.
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Legal Status of Cannabis, 1937 to the Present . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Recent Legislative Activity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Foreign Hemp Production and U.S. Consumption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Legal Dispute over Hemp Food Imports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Review and Analysis of Economic Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
1 In this report, “hemp” refers to industrial hemp, “marijuana” (or “marihuana” as it is
spelled in the older statutes) refers to the psychotropic drug (whether used for medicinal or
recreational purposes), and “Cannabis” refers to the plant species that has industrial,
medicinal, and recreational varieties. This report does not cover issues pertaining to medical
marijuana. For information on that subject, see CRS Report RS20998, Marijuana for
Medical Purposes: A Glimpse of the Supreme Court’s Decision in United States v. Oakland
Buyers’ Cooperative and Related Legal Issues.
2 The European Union (EU) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD, which includes Canada) use 0.3% THC as the dividing line between
industrial and potentially drug-producing C. sativa: cultivars having less than 0.3%THC
legally can be cultivated under license, cultivars having more than that amount are
considered to have too high a drug potential. A THC concentration of 1% is considered
sufficient to have a psychotropic effect. Source: Ernest Small and David Marcus, “Hemp:
A New Crop with New Uses for North America,” in J. Janick and A. Whipkey, eds., Trends
in New Crops and New Uses (Alexandria, VA: Amer. Soc. of Hort. Sci. Press, 2002).
Available online at [http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/ncnu02/v5-284.html
3 The term “hempnut” is used frequently to refer to shelled hemp seed used for food. The
Industrial Hemp Information Network (HemptechTM) offers an online list of available hemp
fiber, seed, and oil products, and their suppliers at [http://www.hemptech.com
Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity
For centuries, the plant species Cannabis sativa has been a source of fiber and
oilseed used worldwide to produce a variety of industrial and consumer products.
Currently, more than 30 nations grow industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity.1
About 14 of those sell part of their production on the world market.
The terms “hemp” and “industrial hemp” refer specifically to varieties of
Cannabis sativa characterized by low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC,
marijuana’s primary psychoactive chemical) in their leaves and flowers.2 Like flax,
the plant can produce both fiber and seed, although varieties better suited for one use
or the other, as well as dual purpose varieties, have been developed. Cultivation
practices also differ depending upon the variety planted.
Hemp fiber is amenable to use in a wide range of products including carpeting,
home furnishings, construction materials, auto parts, textiles, and paper. Hemp seed,
an oilseed, likewise has many uses, including industrial oils, cosmetics,
pharmaceuticals, and food.3
The crop was widely grown in the United States from the colonial period into
the mid-1800s; both fine and coarse fabrics, twine, and paper from hemp were in
common use. However, by the 1890s, labor-saving machinery for harvesting cotton
4 Richard J. Bonnie and Charles H. Whitebread, The Marihuana Conviction: A History of
Marihuana Prohibition in the United States (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia,
1974), p. 51.
made the latter more competitive as a source of fabric for clothing, and the demand
for coarse natural fibers was met increasingly by imports. Between 1914 and 1933,
in an effort to stem the use of Cannabis flowers and leaves for their psychotropic
effects, 33 states passed laws restricting legal production to medicinal and industrial
Legal Status of Cannabis, 1937 to the Present
In 1937, Congress passed the first federal law to discourage Cannabis
production for marijuana while still permitting industrial uses of the crop (the
Marihuana Tax Act; 50 Stat. 551). Under this statute, the government actively
encouraged farmers to grow hemp for fiber and oil during World War II. After the
war, competition from synthetic fibers, the Marihuana Tax Act, and increasing public
anti-drug sentiment resulted in fewer and fewer acres of hemp being planted, and
none at all after 1958.
The past decade has witnessed a resurgence of interest in the United States in
producing industrial hemp. Farmers in regions of the country that are highly
dependent upon a single crop, such as tobacco or wheat, have shown interest in
hemp’s potential as a high-value alternative crop, although the economic studies
conducted so far paint a mixed profitability picture.
Beginning around 1995, an increasing number of state legislatures began to
consider a variety of initiatives related to industrial hemp. Most of these are
resolutions calling for scientific, economic, or environmental studies, and some are
laws authorizing the planting of experimental plots under state statutes. Nonetheless,
the actual planting of Cannabis, even for state-authorized experimental purposes, is
regulated by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) under the authority
of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (Title II of P.L. 91-513 (21 U.S.C.§§802
Congress adopted in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) the same definition
of Cannabis sativa that appeared in the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act. The CSA
The term marijuana means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether
growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant;
and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of
such plant, its seeds or resin. Such term does not include the mature stalks of
such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of
such plant, any other compound ... or preparation of such mature stalks (except
the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such
plant which is incapable of germination.
The statute thus retains control over all varieties of the Cannabis plant by virtue
of including them under the term “marijuana” and making no distinctions between
5 Information on North Dakota’s requirements for licensing hemp production is available
6 Further questions on the legal aspects of H.R. 3037 should be directed to the CRS
American Law Division.
low- and high-THC varieties. The language exempts from control the parts of mature
plants — stalks, fiber, oil, cake, etc. — intended for industrial uses.
Strictly speaking, the CSA does not make Cannabis illegal; rather, it places the
strictest controls on its production, making it illegal to grow the crop without a DEA
permit. DEA issued a permit for an experimental plot in Hawaii in the 1990s (now
expired), but none since then. All hemp products sold in the United States are
imported or manufactured from imported hemp materials.
Under a state law passed in 1999, North Dakota became the first state to
authorize industrial hemp production within its borders. A North Dakota State
University researcher twice applied for, but did not receive, a DEA permit. In
January 2007, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture issued final regulations
on licensing hemp production. One application for a permit from a state-licensed
producer is pending with the DEA.5
Recent Legislative Activity
In February 2007, Representative Ron Paul introduced the Industrial Hemp
Farming Act in the 110th Congress (first introduced in the 109th Congress in June
2005 as H.R. 3037). This is the first legislative proposal at the federal level intended
to facilitate the possible commercial cultivation of industrial hemp in the United
States. The bill would amend the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802(16)) to
add language stating that the term “marijuana” does not include industrial hemp. The
measure was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and to the
House Committee on the Judiciary.
If enacted, the bill would permit industrial hemp production based on state law,
without preemption by the federal government under the Controlled Substances Act.
The measure would grant exclusive authority to any state permitting industrial hemp
production and processing to determine whether any such Cannabis sativa plants met
the limit on THC concentration as set forth in the Controlled Substances Act. In any
criminal or civil action or administrative proceeding, the state’s determination would
be conclusive and binding.6
Foreign Hemp Production and U.S. Consumption
Approximately 30 countries in Europe, Asia, and North and South America
currently permit farmers to grow hemp, although most banned production for certain
periods of time in the past. Recent, reliable, aggregated data on the number of acres
worldwide devoted to industrial hemp production are not available.
7 A search under the term “hemp” on the European Union Commission on Agriculture
] leads to information on the support
8 Health Canada regulations for obtaining permits are viewable online at
information is available on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website at
9 Agriculture Canada, “Canada’s Industrial Hemp Industry,” March 2007, available online
10 USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service, “U.S. Trade Internet System: Imports.” Available
The United States is the only developed nation in which the production of
industrial hemp is not permitted. Great Britain lifted its ban in 1993 and Germany
followed suit in 1996. The European Union subsidizes hemp fiber production under
its Common Agricultural Policy.7 Nonetheless, in the developed countries in which
it is grown, industrial hemp is generally considered a minor crop.
In 1998, Canada authorized production for commercial purposes, following a
three-year experimental period and a 50-year prohibition. As a condition of receiving
a license to grow industrial hemp, Canadian farmers are required to register the GPS
coordinates of their fields, use certified low-THC hemp seed, allow government
testing of their crop for THC levels, and meet or beat a 10ppm standard for maximum
allowable THC residue in hemp grain products.8 Health Canada (the Canadian
department that issues licenses for production) reported 24,000 acres planted in 2005,
and 48,000 in 2006.9
The retail value of all hemp-based products imported and sold in the United
States is difficult to estimate accurately because some imports may be represented in
the USDA trade database under several different categories besides hemp seed, oil,
yarn, fabric, etc. — for example, under building materials, carpets, or paper. The
database shows that the value of U.S. imports under categories actually labeled
“hemp” was $6.3 million in 2006 and $6.7 million in 2005.10
The leading exporters of raw and processed hemp fiber to the United States are
China, Romania, Hungary, Italy, Canada, and India. The leading exporters of hemp
oil and seed are the United Kingdom, Canada, Switzerland, and China. The USDA
trade database shows that the value of Canada’s exports of hemp seed to the United
States grew from $0 in 2004 to $1.2 million in 2006, after a long-standing legal
dispute over U.S. imports of hemp foods ended in late 2004.11
Legal Dispute over Hemp Food Imports
In late 1999, the DEA acted administratively to demand that the U.S. Customs
Service enforce a zero-tolerance standard for the THC content of all forms of
imported hemp, and hemp foods in particular.
12 Both the proposed rule (which was published concurrently with the interpretive rule) and
the final rule gave retailers of hemp foods a date after which the DEA could seize all such
products remaining on shelves. On both rules, hemp trade associations requested and
received court-ordered stays blocking enforcement of that provision. For more information
on the legal history of hemp, contact the CRS American Law Division.
13 Background information on the TestPledge Program is available at [http://www
TestPledge.com]. The intent of the program is to assure that consumption of hemp foods
will not interfere with workplace drug testing programs or produce undesirable mental or
physical health effects.
14 Hemp Industries Association v. Drug Enforcement Administration, 357 F.2d (9th Circuit
The DEA followed up, in October 2001, with publication of an interpretive rule
in the Federal Register (66 FR 51530) explaining the basis of its zero-tolerance
standard. It held that when Congress wrote the statutory definition of marijuana in
1937, it “exempted certain portions of the Cannabis plant from the definition of
marijuana based on the assumption (now refuted) that such portions of the plant
contain none of the psychoactive component now known as THC.”12 The DEA’s
interpretation made hemp with any THC content subject to enforcement as a
Hemp industry trade groups, retailers, and a major Canadian exporter filed suit
against the DEA, arguing that congressional intent was to exempt plant parts
containing naturally occurring THC at non-psychoactive levels, the same way it
exempts poppy seeds containing trace amounts of naturally occurring opiates (21
U.S.C.§802 (19)(20)). Industry groups maintain that (1) naturally occurring THC in
the leaves and flowers of Cannabis varieties grown for fiber and food is already at
below-psychoactive levels (compared with drug varieties); (2) the parts used for
food purposes (seeds and oil) contain even less; and (3) after processing, the THC
content is at or close to zero. U.S. and Canadian hemp seed and food manufacturers
have in place a voluntary program for certifying low, industry-determined standards
in hemp-containing foods.13
On February 6, 2004, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit permanently
enjoined the enforcement of the final rule (68 FR 14113, published March 21, 2003).
The Court stated that “the DEA’s definition of ‘THC’ contravenes the
unambiguously expressed intent of Congress in the CSA and cannot be upheld.”14
The possibility that the government might appeal the ruling remained alive for
several months, but in late September 2004 the Administration let the final deadline
pass without filing.
Review and Analysis of Economic Studies
Hemp proponents base their economic arguments for legalizing the crop on its
potential value as a component in a wide array of industrial and consumer products,
and thus its potential as a profitable alternative crop for farmers. They contend that
a commercial hemp industry would generate its own profitable niche markets, even
where conventional or alternative commodities already exist, and that basing
15 For more information on this EO and on the laws that relate to the production, shipment,
importation or regulation of hemp in the United States, call the CRS American Law
16 USDA/Agricultural Research Service Budget Office and USDA Explanatory Notes for
17 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Industrial Hemp in the
United States: Status and Market Potential, ERS Report AGES001E, January 2000.
estimates of future profitability on the current usage of imported hemp ignores the
crop’s larger potential.
Some supporters of industrial hemp legalization also argue that it could have
renewed value as a strategic crop for defense preparedness purposes, in line with its
role in World War II. In 1994, President Clinton issued an Executive Order, EO
12919, entitled “National Defense Industrial Resources Preparedness,” which was
intended to strengthen the U.S. industrial and technology base for meeting national
defense requirements. The order included hemp under the category of “food
resources,” which it defined to mean, in part, “all starches, sugars, vegetable and
animal or marine fats and oils, cotton, tobacco, wool, mohair, hemp, flax, fiber and
other materials, but not any such material after it loses its identity as an agricultural
commodity or product.”15 It could be argued that the government has already
recognized that industrial hemp is capable of contributing to national defense needs
and to the readiness of U.S. defenses during times of peace as well as national
Opponents of industrial hemp point out that U.S. agricultural history illustrates
the great difficulty of bringing promising alternative crops into profitable commercial
use. USDA has supported research on alternative crops and industrial uses of
common commodities since the late 1930’s. Currently, under the Critical
Agricultural Materials Act of 1984 (P.L. 98-284), the supplemental and alternative
crops provisions of the 1985 and 1990 omnibus farm acts and other authorities, the
federal government supports about $15 million annually in research and development
on alternative crops at USDA and state laboratories.16 Some alternative crops that
have become established in certain parts of the United States — kenaf (for fiber) in
Texas, jojoba (for oil) in Arizona and California, and amaranth (for nutritious grain)
in the Great Plains states, for example — have benefits similar to those ascribed to
hemp, but are not complicated by having a drug variety within the same species.
One of the first economic analyses of industrial hemp’s potential as a profitable
crop for U.S. farmers was a report prepared by USDA’s Economic Research Service
in 2000. ERS based its domestic production assumptions on import data covering
hemp fiber, yarn, and fabric, but excluding seed and oil. The report concluded that:
U.S. markets for hemp fiber ... and seed ... are, and will likely remain, small, thin
markets. Uncertainty about long-run demand for hemp products and the potential
for oversupply discounts the prospects for hemp as an economically viable
alternative crop for American farmers.17
18 Small and Marcus, p. 321.
19 See footnote 9.
20 One example of recently begun hemp fiber research is a collaborative effort of the
National Research Council of Canada and Hemptown Clothing, Inc., to develop a new
enzyme technology to produce a softer and whiter hemp fabric, among other things.
Information from the Research Council is available online at
The more recent study by Small and Marcus (2002) reflects the fact that interest
in the crop in the United States has deepened since ERS calculated its negative
forecast. It concludes:
It often takes 10 to 15 years for the industry associated with a new agricultural
crop to mature. While it is true that foreign imports have been the basis for hemp
products in North America for at least a decade, North American production is
only 4 years of age in Canada .... Viewed from this perspective, the hemp
industry in North America is still very much in its infancy ... and is likely to
continue experiencing the risks inherent in a small niche market for some time.
[However,] hemp ... has such a diversity of possible uses, is being promoted by
extremely enthusiastic market developers, and attracts so much attention that it
is likely to carve out a much larger share of the North American marketplace than
its detractors are willing to concede.18
An update in 2007 of a December 2003 report from Agriculture Canada draws
an even more positive conclusion, based on its reading of consumer interest:
Hemp’s remarkable advantages are hard to beat: it thrives without herbicides, it
reinvigorates the soil, it requires less water than cotton, it matures in three to four
months, and it can yield four times as much paper per acre as trees. Hemp can
be used to create building materials that are twice as strong as wood and
concrete, textile fiber that is stronger than cotton, better oil and paint than
petroleum, clean-burning diesel fuel, and biodegradable plastics. In addition, it
can produce more digestible protein per acre than any other food source. These
advantages are in tune with the environmental and health preferences of today’s
North American public. The growing curiosity of consumers, the interest shown
by farmers and processors, and Canada’s excellent growing conditions for
industrial hemp allow optimistic views for its future.19
According to the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA), a leading trade
group, the harvesting, shelling, and processing technologies for conventional oilseed
crops in Canada are suitable for handling hemp grown for seed, which has enabled
acreage to expand as soon as markets are found. Farmers who obtain organic
certification for their hemp seed receive premium prices. CHTA reported a market
price of 50 to 60 cents (C$) per pound for conventional hemp seed, and an 85-
cent/pound market price for certified organic seed in winter 2003-2004.
The Canadian hemp fiber industry is not as developed. Because the crop
became legal to produce again in 1998, government and private funds have only
recently begun to support research on breeding fiber varieties and tackling the
problems associated with harvesting and processing.20 Similarly, the infrastructure
21 T. Randall Fortenbery and Michael Bennett, “Opportunities for Commercial Hemp
Production,” Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 26, no. 1 (spring 2004), pp. 97-117.
The time period covered in this study ends with the year 2000.
22 For more information on legislative and executive branch actions concerning illegal drugs,
see CRS Report RL32352, War on Drugs: Reauthorization of the Office of National Drug
Control Policy. For information on issues pertaining to medical marijuana, see CRS Report
RL33211, Medical Marijuana: Review and Analysis of Federal and State Policies.
for efficiently transporting and handling the heavy, bulky product is lagging. CHTA
states, “The current economic reality of hemp [fiber] is that it cannot compete with
waste products (wood, straw, stover, etc.) on price .... Hemp is valued between 4-10
times that of waste fibers, so it must find its way to the right products and markets.”
Proponents of reintroducing hemp as a commodity crop in the United States are
watching the Canadian experience with interest. However, it also is important to
keep an eye on the larger picture. The world market for hemp products is relatively
small, and China, as the world’s largest hemp fiber and seed producer, has had and
likely will continue to have major influence on market prices and thus on the year-toyear
profits of producers and processors in other countries.21 Canada’s head start in
the North American market for hemp seed and oil also would likely affect the
profitability of a start-up industry in the United States.
Regardless, at least for the time being, government policy on the issue is
reflected in the DEA’s arguments against commercial hemp production. These are
that commercial cultivation would increase the likelihood of covert production of
high-THC marijuana, significantly complicate DEA’s surveillance and enforcement
activities, and send the wrong message to the American public concerning the
government’s position on drugs. DEA officials and a variety of other observers also
express the concern that efforts to legalize hemp — as well as those to legalize
medical marijuana — are a front for individuals and organizations whose real aim is
to see marijuana decriminalized.22