Hemp Freedom Act

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]According to a 2005 Congressional Research Service report, the U.S. remains the only developed nation that hasn’t developed an industrial hemp crop for economic purposes. But, thanks to efforts in the states, that’s starting to change.

There are three versions of hemp legislation that are being used successfully in states right now. Which one to choose is more of a strategic consideration than anything else.

TAKE ACTION: Contact your state rep AND senator – give them the three versions below (you can download each as pdf), and urge them to introduce the best one for your state. Find your legislators’ contact info at this link.

BILL TRACKINGat this link.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”grey”][dt_gap height=”20″][dt_fancy_separator separator_style=”dashed” separator_color=”accent”][dt_gap height=”20″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” image=”25223″ css_animation=”appear” img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]OPTION 1: REMOVE INDUSTRIAL HEMP FROM LIST OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES (pdf here)

By simply removing industrial hemp from your state’s list of controlled substances, you open the door for cultivation and production. Taking away the specter of state prosecution clears away the biggest hurdle to developing a hemp industry in your state. While the possibility of federal prosecution remains, it is remote, and some farmers will accept the relatively limited risk if state barriers are removed.

If your state specifically counts industrial hemp as a controlled substance, this simply involves passing legislation to amend the controlled substances list to remove it. This law passed by Connecticut in 2015 serves as a good starting point.

In some cases, it may be necessary to specifically declare hemp is not marijuana and therefore not subject regulation as a controlled substance.

Example 1 – Marijuana does not include industrial hemp, as defined in 7 USC 5940, as amended from time to time.

Example 2 – Marijuana does not include Cannabis sativa L. and any part of the plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”10px”][dt_button link=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/TAClegislation/hemp-connecticut-2015.pdf” target_blank=”true” size=”medium” animation=”fade” icon_align=”left”]

Download #1 Here

[/dt_button][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” image=”25225″ img_size=”300×300″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]OPTION 2: REMOVE FROM CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES AND CREATE LIMITED REGISTRATION STRUCTURE (pdf here)

You will further stimulate hemp cultivation in your state by not only removing it from the list of controlled substances, but also creating a limited state registration structure. This reassures the farmer that as far as the state is concerned, he is engaging in a permitted activity.

This type of legislation was enacted in Vermont and there is already a vibrant and growing hemp industry developing there just two years later.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”10px”][dt_button link=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/TAClegislation/Hemp-Freedom-Act-2016.pdf” target_blank=”true” size=”medium” animation=”fade” icon_align=”left”]

Download #2 Here

[/dt_button][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” image=”25226″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]OPTION 3: REMOVE FROM CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES AND CREATE FULL LICENSING AND REGULATORY STRUCTURE (pdf here)

This takes things beyond permitting and minimal regulation, and actually establishes a quick, orderly, efficient, farmer-friendly process to license industrial hemp growers, and permit them to distribute the crop in the marketplace.

This sends a strong message to growers that not only will the state allow them to grow hemp unmolested, but it is actively involved in developing and facilitating the industry. This is the surest way to ensure a vibrant hemp market develops despite federal prohibition.

Tennessee took this route. (download their legislation here)  After just one year, everyday farmers are growing acres of industrial hemp throughout the state. The product is expected to hit the open market, and will be sold like any other industrial crop in the near future. The economic impact will be felt immediately in the form of jobs and paychecks.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”10px”][dt_button link=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/TAClegislation/hemp-tennessee-2014.pdf” target_blank=”true” size=”medium” animation=”fade” icon_align=”left”]

Download #3 Here

[/dt_button][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][dt_fancy_title title=”2015 Hemp Status Report” title_align=”left” title_size=”h2″ title_color=”accent” separator_style=”thick” title_bg=”disabled” separator_color=”default”][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_column_text]Industrial hemp falls under the federal Controlled Substance Act of 1970. It technically remains “legal” to grow the plant, but farmers must obtain a permit from the DEA. Up until 2014, that happened just once in over four decades. However, the feds loosened requirements when Congress passed a law allowing limited hemp production for research purposes by colleges and universities, and state agriculture departments.

It’s important to note that all commercial production remains banned under federal law. For all practical purposes, the feds still maintain a policy of full prohibition.

But states are taking action to nullify that prohibition in practice.

This year, a bill was signed into law in North Dakota that legalizes hemp farming within the state. The new law not only sets up the framework to effectuate a commercial hemp farming program in North Dakota, it expressly rejects any need for federal approval before growing hemp in the state. By rejecting the need for federal approval, the new law nullifies the federal ban in practice.

In a move that will have a similar effect, the Maine legislature overrode the governor’s veto and passed LD4. This amends the current state hemp farming law by removing a requirement that licenses are contingent on approval by the Federal Government.  

Connecticut joined North Dakota and Maine, but took a slightly different approach. Passage of HB5780 into law removed any mention of industrial hemp from the Connecticut criminal code that classifies marijuana as a banned controlled substance. This means Connecticut authorities will essentially treat industrial hemp like other plants, such as tomatoes. By removing the state prohibition on hemp, residents of Connecticut will have an open door to start industrial farming should they be willing to risk violating the ongoing federal prohibition.

In 2013, Vermont passed a hemp act that was very similar to the new Connecticut law, practically speaking. When Governor Peter Shumlin signed the bill, he emphasized that hemp cultivation was still illegal under federal law.

Despite the threat of federal prosecution, several farmers took the risk and planted small hemp plots that very first year. And the industry appears to be moving forward in 2015. As of last spring, one plot in Vermont already had over 1,000 plants in the ground. Other farmers are moving forward with planting and harvesting as well.

Oregon legalized hemp farming in 2009, but bureaucracy prevented crops from being planted. Finally in 2014, Oregon voters approved Measure 91, authorizing the production of and commerce in industrial hemp. The state then created a framework, and it has issued 13 permits to growers.