Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017, H.R. 3530 introduced to legalize industrial hemp in the US
Kentucky representative James Comer, a strong advocate of industrial hemp, has filed a bill in congress to revise the Controlled Substances Act to exclude hemp from the list of controlled substances, in order to allow states to study and grow the versatile and eco-friendly crop. This is welcome news for US CBD companies which have been operating in a gray area of the law for years.
Bill H.R 3530, entitled The The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017, seeks to make a distinction between hemp and its psychoactive cousin, marijuana, and end outdated regulations on industrial hemp. Farmers all over the world grow hemp commercially for fiber, seed, and oil for use in a variety of industrial and consumer products. In fact, United States is the only developed nation which lists hemp as a dangerous drug. As a result, the US currently imports an estimated $500 million worth of hemp annually from other countries.
Vote Hemp, the nation’s leading grassroots hemp advocacy organization supports Congressional bill H.R. 3530, as introduced on July 27, 2017.
Hemp has boundless potential as a sustainable alternative to plastics and other environmentally harmful products. The fast-growing and environmentally friendly plant can be used in thousands of everyday items, including fuel, fabrics, paper, auto parts, lotion, furniture, carpet, and, of course, hemp seed and oil, plant-based beverages, and nutritional supplements. It can be used in everything from construction materials to cosmetics to ice cream. CBD (cannabidiol), a prominent cannabinoid found in hemp is one of the most studied compounds in the world and is being touted as super supplement and being credited by many for successfully treating a wide variety of ailments from sleeplessness, to depression, to epilepsy, to cancer, and much more.
The bill allows for commercial cultivation of industrial hemp with a THC content of no more than 0.3 percent by dry weight, consistent with the definition of industrial hemp provided in Sec. 7606 of the Farm Bill of 2014 which allowed certain states to cultivate and study hemp. Additionally, H.R. 3530 would allow for research cultivation on industrial hemp crops with a THC content of up to 0.6 percent by dry weight.
Another aspect of the bill is that it would create a new category for hemp research at universities and state departments of agriculture, and allow for further study and commercialization of industrial hemp crops as well as CBD. The ultimate goal is to take industrial hemp to the next level and begin to treat it like other traditional farm crops such as corn, wheat, or soybeans.
The next step is for the bill to be reviewed by the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and the Committee on the Judiciary. Many advocates have high hopes that this bill will be the one to pass. Similar legislation is also being considered in the Senate.
H.R 3530 has 16 co-sponsors:
- Rep. Goodlatte, Bob [R-VA]
- Rep. Polis, Jared [D-CO]
- Rep. Massie, Thomas [R-KY]
- Rep. Griffith, H. Morgan [R-VA]
- Rep. Young, Don [R-AK-At Large]
- Rep. Cramer, Kevin [R-ND-At Large]
- Rep. Blumenauer, Earl [D-O]
- Rep. Peterson, Collin C. [D-MN]
- Rep. Cohen, Steve [D-TN]
- Rep. Bonamici, Suzanne [D-O]
- Rep. Gabbard, Tulsi [D-HI]
- Rep. DeFazio, Peter A. [D-OR]
- Rep. Schrader, Kurt [D-OR]
- Rep. Perlmutter, Ed [D-CO]
- Rep. Barr, Andy [R-KY]
- Rep. Garrett, Thomas A., Jr. [R-VA]
The full bill can be found here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3530/text