US House passes hemp reform in federal Farm Bill

A new start for hemp?

The US House of Representatives has approved a version of the farm bill which includes hemp reform to allow for states to authorize hemp research. It does not authorize large-scale hemp farming, which is essential to making the US competitive in the global industrial hemp markets. The bill now heads to the Senate, which must approve the measure to send it to the President for approval. This is the first time since the 1950s that a hemp authorization bill has cleared  Congress.

For over 75 years, federal law has banned the cultivation of every strain of cannabis, regardless of its psychoactivity, despite a long heritage of industrial hemp farming in US history. The amendment to the approved farm bill would allow universities to grow non-psychoactive hemp strains for research purposes, ending a blanket prohibition which has been in place in de-facto form since 1937

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Congress approves hemp, then votes down farm bill

By Chris Conrad,

The House of Representatives solidly rejected a last-minute lobbying bid from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) June 20, 2013 and adopted a farm bill amendment in a 225-200 vote to legalize growing hemp for research purposes. Soon thereafter, it voted down the $940 billion bill by 195-234. Most Democrats voted against the bill because it cut food stamps by more than $20 billion. Many Republicans voted no because the country is already $17 trillion in debt.

The vote is a blow to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who has failed to move farm policy forward for two years in a row. A new and more conservative farm bill is expected to be put forward, but even if it is not, there’s a good chance the hemp amendment will get inserted into other legislation now that the full House has approved it.

Despite the full bill being

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Bipartisan hemp and marijuana bills hit US Congress

By Phillip Smith,

A marijuana policy trifecta hit Capitol Hill in February 2013 regarding recreational marijuana, medical marijuana, and hemp.

Early in the month, reformist House members filed bills to end federal cannabis prohibition and tax the trade, and in mid month a bill to legalize hemp. By the end of the month, legislators had filed bills to protect medical marijuana patients and providers, and US senators filed a companion bill to legalize industrial hemp.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), who earlier sponsored a marijuana tax bill, rolled out House Resolution 689, the “States’ Medical Marijuana Protection Act;” Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) introduced House Resolution 710, the “Truth in Trials Act;” and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and three co-sponsors filed the “Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013,” a companion bill to House Resolution 525.

Blumenauer’s bill, introduced with bipartisan co-sponsorship, would grant federal recognition to medical use and remove marijuana

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