As we inch closer and closer to the possibility of the U.S. Congress supporting the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, our excitement continues to grow. It is extremely vital for us to continuously express our views as we near the passing of the bill.
Our country happens to be the only country that doesn’t allow hemp farming. Everyone can’t help but wonder “Why?” Most of us are aware of the great economic potential hemp farming would accumulate for the United States. “The United States hemp industry estimates that the annual market value of hemp retail sales in the United States is more than $688,000,000.”1 Hemp can be used to make a variety of things, such as: human/pet food, clothing, paper, organic body care, biofuel, etc.
The measure, sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and cosponsored by McConnell, along with Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), notes that “the value of hemp imported into the United States for use in the production of other retail products is estimated at approximately $76,000,000 annually.”2 Removing hemp restrictions will tremendously strengthen American agriculture and allow it to reach full potential. Not only will this support our economy, but it will provide many more jobs for Americans.
Recently, we’ve seen the Senate come forward and recognize the value of hemp. The next step is to legalize the farming. Our farmers lost access to hemp farming long ago during the 1980s, which has impeded their progress and growth. However, the Senate has been taking steps toward the development of a hemp seed bank and put aside $500,000 to support the restoration! “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), for example, recently introduced a bill to legalize hemp, which already has nearly a third of senators signed on as cosponsors.”
As of this week, we’ve been notified of even more great news. The Farm Bill has been confirmed to have included language from the Hemp Farming Act in the base bill. The probability of the legalization of commercial hemp farming keeps on growing, considering the Farm Bill must pass legislation. Everyone is working together to alter the state and federal laws that inhibit our farmers from growing industrial hemp.
Of course, we still have a long way to go before the legalization is approved. Join us in encouraging the legalization of this versatile crop and in persuading our Members of Congress to pass the Hemp Farming Act of 2018.