The Industrial Hemp Farming Act will finally be introduced later this week! Congressman James Comer expects to introduce his first Federal hemp bill which will have a few changes to garner more support.
- Vote Hemp successfully advocated for provision to include tribes following the Menominee district court ruling
- We advocated to increase THC levels and gained a compromise that allows research on hemp up to 0.6% THC
- Chair Goodlatte added provision that requires states to make licensee address and crop location data available to state Attorney General
- Rep. Comer has told House leadership this bill is his #1 priority and we are hopeful that it can receive a vote and pass this year
- We expect a Senate companion bill after the House bill is introduced
The Appropriations process is underway and we have been working with Sen. Merkley and Sen. McConnell as well as Rep. Comer to ensure that pro-hemp limiting language will be included to help protect hemp pilot programs from federal agency interference.
A number of licensed hemp farmers have been denied access to water for irrigation. We were contacted by a farmer in Montana with this problem and worked with our attorney to draft a letter informing the Bureau of Reclamation that hemp grown under the farm bill is 100% legal and they are incorrect to withhold water from Farm Bill compliant hemp growers.
In addition, Sen. Bennet (D-CO) has introduced SB 1576 to resolve the water access issue along with 5 of his western state colleagues. This will bring more pressure for the Industrial Hemp Farming Act to be passed as it highlights the challenges Farm Bill growers face.
We were pleased that 6 state hemp bills passed this session and 5 were signed into law (Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, Utah and Wyoming). The Arizona bill was vetoed due to lack of funding for the Ag. Dept. to implement it. We worked closely with activists and legislators in 3 of those states plus a number of other states where legislation or regulations didn't pass so far this year including Arizona, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas.
We have been doing outreach to members of Congress in states where hemp bills have passed to educate them and gain their support for the Comer bill when it drops. So far we have met with 15 offices from Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.
We are seeing a concerning trend this year of GW Pharmaceuticals promoted state CBD legislation to classify CBD as a scheduled drug under state laws. We tracked several dozen bills that were introduced so far and worked with Bluebird Botanicals to get supporters to push back on a bill in Nebraska and were successful in getting it amended.
We will be back in touch soon to request that you write your Representative and urge that they support the new Industrial Hemp Farming Act after it is introduced.