|August 4, 2012
Senator Wyden and Senator Paul Introduce Bi-partisan Senate Companion Bill to H.R. 1831, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act
Historic Senate Bill Promises Economic Opportunity by Removing Restrictions to Industrial Hemp Farming in the United States
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Rand Paul (R-KY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Thursday introduced S. 3501 the Senate companion bill to H.R. 1831, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011. If passed the bill will remove Federal restrictions on the cultivation of industrial hemp, the non‐drug oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis.
The language of the bill mirrors that of H.R. 1831, a bill introduced in the House this session. The full text of the bill, status and list of co-sponsors can be found at: http://votehemp.com/legislation
"Introducing this bill is the first step toward a common sense policy on hemp that helps create American jobs," says Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR). "It is vital that all advocates for industrial hemp redouble their efforts to win support in Congress if we are going to reestablish this economically important crop."
To date, 17 states have passed pro‐hemp legislation, and 10 states (Colorado, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia) have removed barriers to its production or research. However, despite state authorization to grow hemp, farmers in these states risk raids by federal agents, prison time, and property forfeiture if they plant the crop, due to the failure of federal policy to distinguish non-drug oilseed and fiber varieties of cannabis (i.e., industrial hemp) from psychoactive drug varieties.