There is no earthly reason why the United States should continue to ban production of industrial, non-drug hemp. In honor of Hemp History Week (June 3-9), find out why and how you can support this eco-friendly, versatile crop.
June 3-9 marks the fourth annual Hemp History Week, celebrating this remarkable, sustainable crop. From its nutritional attributes—an ideal balance of omega-3s to omega-6s, highly digestible protein, and gluten-free goodness—to its suitability as an eco-friendly fiber and skin-friendly oil for personal care products, hemp is poised for greatness—in fact, 2012 retail sales for hemp food and beauty products hit $156 million in 2012. But it still labors under federal restrictions prohibiting its industrial cultivation in the U.S.
Fortunately, policy change momentum is growing. “The utilization of hemp to produce everything from clothing to paper is real,” says Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-KY) in a press release from the Hemp History Week organizers. McConnel recently came out in support of hemp farming by co-sponsoring S.359, the Senate companion bill to the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013 (HR 525), introduced this past February. “If there is a capacity to center a new domestic industry in Kentucky that will create jobs in the difficult economic times, that sounds like a good thing to me.”
The latest, according to Lauren Stansbury, media rep for Hemp History week: "We're very excited that Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) has introduced an amendment to the Farm Bill to legalize hemp farming--S.AMDT.952--which will be taken up this week as Congress returns from recess. The amendment has three co-sponsors and would potentially legalize hemp farming this week if it passes with the Farm Bill."
If passed, federal restrictions on the domestic cultivation of non-drug oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis would be removed. Find the full text of the bills at VoteHemp.com/legislation. Contact your representatives to urge passage of these bills. And peruse this gallery of impressive hemp products to see just how useful this plant can be.