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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 and overtly through the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) since 1970.

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