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U.S.: Senators to Attorney General Sessions: Reassure Hemp Industry You Will Uphold the Law

Jeff Sessions Uphold Law

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Recently, U.S. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Al Franken (D-MN), and Michael Bennet (D-CO) urged Attorney General Jeff Sessions to address their constituents’ concerns regarding the hemp industry’s access to financial services by confirming the Department of Justice will respect Congress’ recent actions on industrial hemp pilot programs.

Alabama: Bill Would Authorize Research On State Growing Industrial Hemp

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Two Alabama legislators are sponsoring a bill to allow research on growing industrial hemp in the state.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Paul Bussman, R-Cullman and Ken Johnson, R-Moulton,and would allow a state university or the state Department of Agriculture to research hemp production.

The lawmakers held a news conference at the Alabama State House along with Mcmillan Arrington, owner of a hemp processing plant in Nebraska, and Alabama state Agriculture
Commissioner John McMillan.

The federal Farm Bill passed in 2014 authorizes state agriculture departments and state universities to research hemp production.

About 28 states so far have passed legalization to authorize projects, including all four states bordering Alabama.

Hemp stalks and seeds are used to make a wide variety of different products, such as carpeting, rope, fabric, insulation, paper, building materials, and food products.

Hemp is a form of cannabis, like marijuana, but only has trace amounts of tetrahydrocannibinol (THC), the psychoactive component of marijuana that causes a high.

Many automobile components, such as door panels, are made from hemp. Henry Ford was using it in his cars in the 1930s.

Bussman said hemp has the potential to be a boon for Alabama farmers.

"We look forward to giving them the research that they need to grow the product in the best way and the fastest way and the most productive way that they can," he said.

Missouri: House Passes Two Bills To Legalize Industrial Hemp

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Two Missouri lawmakers are trying to bring industrial hemp cultivation back. Two bills were passed Wednesday by the Missouri House select committee on agriculture that would allow Missouri farmers to grow industrial hemp.

Missouri Rep. Paul Curtman, R-Union, and Rep. Craig Redmon, R-Canton, are hoping to get the state to join the other 28 states now allowed to grow industrial hemp under the Farm Bill.

Currently, Missouri businesses are allowed to import industrial hemp but not grow it themselves.

"It's important, I believe, for our farmers to be able to grow it in our state so our tax dollars and farming dollars and investment dollars stay in our state," Curtman said.

Curtman said some are concerned that the bill would be a "slippery slope" toward full legalization of marijuana or that industrial hemp could be used for hallucinogenic purposes.

"Nobody uses this plant for recreational purposes because the THC content is so low that you're gonna get a headache if you try to smoke it," Curtman said. "You're certainly not going to get high."

Another concern expressed by the Missouri Farm Bureau Federation is that the bill does not meet the federal Farm Bill requirements, making it illegal under federal law.

New York: Hemp NY City Series of Events Focuses On Hemp Movement

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GenCanna Global Chief Operating Officer and Managing Partner Steve Bevan will join a distinguished panel of hemp industry experts at HEMP NY CITY, a multi-day series of events focusing on the contemporary hemp movement in New York and throughout the nation.

The third event of the series, a panel presentation on Saturday, March 5 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., will cover hemp legislation in New York State; CBD oil production and use; industrial hemp in Colorado; and the opening of a hemp processing plant in Kentucky.

Speakers include New York Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo; Trey Riddle of Sunstrand LLC; Colorado hemp farmer Ryan Loflin; Morris Beegle, owner of the Colorado Hemp Company; and Joel Stanley, CEO of CW Botanicals. The event will take place at the Great Hall in Cooper Union in Manhattan.

“I am excited to be a part of this esteemed panel and to move forward this important dialogue about industrial hemp and its enormous potential for social, economic and environmental good,” said Bevan. “For the past two years, GenCanna has worked primarily in Kentucky to produce a sustainable and reliable supply of specialized industrial hemp of the highest quality.

"Working together with farmers, greenhouse specialists, researchers, scientists, technological innovators, regulators and legislators has been incredibly rewarding and bountiful," Bevan said. "We look forward to empowering our strategic partners in New York State with the lessons we have learned in Kentucky to jumpstart New York’s own industrial hemp revolution.”

Maine: Cultivating Hemp for Fiber, Food, Fuel, Moving Forward

HempSeedMaine2016

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News

Because of hemp's value as a cash crop, states such as Maine have turned to hemp to help farmers prosper. The state is one of the most recent to join the nationwide effort to research hemp farming, which gained momentum when the federal government eased restrictions with the 2014 Farm Bill.

In 2015, after Gov. LePage vetoed LD 4, an act to promote industrial hemp, state lawmakers showed their support for the bill by overriding his veto. The House voted for the bill 135-6, with 10 members absent. The Senate approved it 28-6.

In 2015, Jon Olson of the Maine Farm Bureau testified in front of the state's legislative committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, that his organization opposed the federal ban on hemp farming and saying of the state's farmers: "This could be a value-added crop that could help them," he testified.

John Jemison, an agricultural specialist at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, is among several researchers in New England investigating hemp as a crop that could be grown for everything from fishing ropes to insulation and seeds rich in nutrients and protein.

“It has the potential to be a really good rotation crop,” Jemison told farmers at the Maine Potato Conference this month at the Caribou Inn and Convention Center.

Hemp and marijuana are varieties of the cannabis plant, which has “been domesticated about as long as we’ve had agriculture,” according to Jemison.

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