Sunday, March 24, 2013

West Virginia follows Missouri and others into Industrial Hemp

Charleston, WV (March 23, 2013)—West Virginia Vice Chair of  Agriculture committee Mike Manypenny (D—Taylor, 49) has introduced WV House Bill 3011.  The bill would remove parts of the current state law language which would enable West Virginia to redeploy the Industrial Hemp Development Act of 1931.

Richard Nixon placed jurisdiction of Industrial Hemp under the Drug Enforcement Agency.  By law, the DEA can currently issue certificates to farmers to make it legal to cultivate and take Hemp to full harvest maturation. HB 3011 would remove the requirement for federal permission to farm Hemp.  HB 3011 currently has 4 cosponsors.

Earlier in the month, the National Farmers Union made a reclassification to officially remove Industrial Hemp from the controlled substances listing currently used by the Federal Government and all subsequent agencies.

Steven Wilson of the Missouri Hemp Network had this to say about the move from ManyPenny, “This year we have seen a strong ground movement into industrial hemp.  In past years, the bills would be few from agro-centric states and they would have no cosponsors.  Not only do these bills have cosponsors, but they have support from local farm groups and national farm organizations.  Things have changed.  The body politic is coming after us this time, in the past we normally had to chase them.”

Wilson also noted that each state seems to be addressing Hemp from different angles.  Some are moving from agriculture and others are moving from law.  Jason Holsman (D—Kansas City) has sponsored SB 358 in the Missouri senate.  It is also a reclassification bill and it has a hearing scheduled for March 26 in SCR 1.

Asked why it seems to be happening now, Wilson replied, “With information about food for weapons, the Doha round and subsidy programs, and the market viability of hemp in other countries, farmers seem to want results rather than rules.  Farm sovereignty is becoming a major issue not just for states, but also for families. It also seems to be immune from party affiliation.  Hemp is not activism.  It is about economy.”

To contact Mike ManyPenny:

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