The Industrial Hemp Farming Act never seems to get recognition from congress, leaving hemp supporters hoping for something that has yet to come to fruition. But the time will soon come when hemp will be recognized for the beneficial plant that it is—sooner or later. With 29 states that “have defined industrial hemp as distinct and removed barriers to its production,” according to votehemp.com, hemp is bound to get the attention it deserves. With every year that ticks by, more people are being educated and understanding of cannabis, industrial hemp and everything in between. There’s a lot that can be expected of hemp in the near future, and it’s all going to start now.
POST BALLOT HEMP AWARENESS
Following the end of the election season, we’ll finally have the verdict for many cities and states that voted for medical cannabis, recreational cannabis and more. Awareness is one of the most important tools when it comes the cannabis industry, and despite what people’s stances are on the subject, it’s a hot topic. If recreational cannabis gains a foothold in more states, as many expect it will, then hemp is bound to follow suit. With hemp’s ability to make food, clothing, housing material and car frames, there is no downside to legalizing industrial hemp nationwide.
The future of industrial hemp could lie in the hands of the next president too. Many promises have been made by presidential candidates, so there’s a reasonable amount of hope riding on support from the White House. President Barack Obama was given the opportunity to sign Section 7606 as an amendment to the Federal Farm Bill in 2014, which now allows universities and state agriculture departments to legally study and research hemp, as long as those institutions are located in a state that has already legalized hemp.
MATTERS OF CONGRESS
On January 3, 2017, the 114th United States Congress will end and the 115th Congress sessions will start, and will continue through 2019. As of this writing, it’s too early to tell who will be the various congressional leaders and political party representatives that will be chosen. Hopefully, the upcoming session will bring about a fresh perspective towards industrial hemp nationwide.
ON THE STATE LEVEL
Although many states have approved hemp legislation, some states have not properly implemented a way to regulate industrial hemp farming yet. For example, California is one state whose current hemp legislation is not up to par. The California Hemp Act of 2013 does not currently present any legal opportunities for a hemp farmer to begin cultivating hemp, because farmers must first obtain a cultivation permit from the federal government.
Like medical and recreational cannabis, hemp is gaining a lot of attention. This year’s voting season is bound to bring a few more states up to speed with embracing modern hemp. Cultivation of industrial hemp would bring countless new jobs to many states, and its removal from the Controlled Substances Act could open up a whole new industry. Be sure to keep updated on the official laws of your state, visit www.ncsl.org or votehemp.com to keep informed about it all, and take up every chance to make your voice heard about the future of hemp legislation.