The House Agriculture and Forest Products Committee unanimously voted to create a state-sanctioned process to grow hemp. S 157 has been altered due to issues with past statues from Vermont on Hemp farming.
The registration process that the State of Vermont would impose under the House bill would be much more lax than the federal law. It would require the grower to submit to the Secretary of Agriculture his or her name and address, a statement that the cannabis variety does not exceed the state potency threshold, and the location and acreage of the hemp parcels. The bill would give the Agriculture Secretary the power to leverage an annual $25 registration fee for administration purposes.
The Vermont registration literature would also come with the following caveat: “Federal prosecution for growing hemp in violation of federal law may include criminal penalties, forfeiture of property, and loss of access to federal agricultural benefits, including agricultural loans, conservation programs, and insurance programs.”
Senator Pat Leahy has spoken with officials from the DEA about procedures for Hemp farming. Deputy chief with the DEA James Akers responded by telling the Senator that Cannabis is still a schedule 1 controlled substance and that there are many rules to farming hemp in America.
The DEA has the ability to certify a farmer for hemp, but has yet to do so since being given this power by President Richard Nixon.