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February 22, 2014: from votehemp.com
Farm Bureau Passes Policy Urging Removal of Industrial Hemp Classification as Controlled Substance

WASHINGTON, DC — The national, single-issue, non-profit advocacy group Vote Hemp applauds the new resolution on industrial hemp that was adopted by delegates of the American Farm Bureau Federation at its 95th annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas last week, January 14, 2014. The policy resolution urges the repeal of the classification of industrial hemp as a controlled substance. The effort was lead by the Indiana Farm Bureau. The resolution, which falls under the "we oppose" category, reads:

"The classification of industrial hemp as a controlled substance."

The Farm Bureau previously passed a policy resolution supporting industrial hemp research in 1995, which read:

"We recommend that [the] American Farm Bureau Federation encourage research into the viability and economic potential of industrial hemp production in the United States. We further recommend that such research includes planting test plots in the United States using modern agricultural techniques."

The AFBF position in favor of decriminalizing industrial hemp cultivation is an auspicious boon to the hemp legalization movement, as currently the House version of the Farm Bill contains an amendment to legalize university research on industrial hemp in states that have removed barriers to the crop's production. The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) annual policy resolutions significantly influence both state and federal legislation on agriculture, food and interstate trade, and represent the majority voice of farmers around the country.

"We support the declassification of industrial hemp as a controlled substance because of the opportunity that it provides some farmers to diversify their operations and share in a new market opportunity. At a time when small farms are innovating and diversifying to remain competitive, we should provide every opportunity to increase farm incomes and allow the next generation the ability to continue living off the land as their families have for generations," said Kyle P. Cline, Policy Advisor with the Indiana Farm Bureau. "Industrial hemp is one such opportunity that may work for some farmers in certain regions. Furthermore, industrial hemp will allow the U.S. farmer to share in income that is currently going overseas. Right now, it is legal to import hemp but illegal to produce it. Therefore, there is no opportunity currently to share in the profit."

"The AFBF position on removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act demonstrates a positive shift at the grassroots level, it shows that farmers all over the U.S. see industrial hemp for what it is-a versatile, low-input crop," said Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp. "Farmers see hemp imported from China, Canada, and realize that they're missing out on the growing U.S. market for hemp. That farmers are coming forward with formal support for policy change in favor of hemp legalization is a huge step forward and Congress should follow their lead and pass legislation to once again allow hemp farming under federal law."

The Farm Bureau's position on industrial hemp demonstrates the widespread support among national farming organizations for a change in the federal government's position on hemp. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) previously passed a resolution that "supports revisions to the federal rules and regulations authorizing commercial production of industrial hemp." The National Grange voted to support hemp in 2009, stating that it "supports research, production, processing and marketing of industrial hemp as a viable agricultural activity." The National Farmers Union (NFU) passed their first pro-hemp resolution at their 2010 convention. The policy was updated at their 2013 convention and states that the NFU supports:

"Urging the president, attorney general and Congress to direct the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to reclassify industrial hemp as a non-controlled substance and adopt policy to allow American farmers to grow industrial hemp under state law without affecting eligibility for USDA benefits."

Grown commercially in Canada since 1998, hemp has become one of the most profitable crops for farmers north of the U.S. border. While American farmers often net less than $100 per acre for soy and corn, Canadian farmers net an average of $250 per acre for hemp.

To date, thirty-two states have introduced pro-hemp legislation and ten states have defined industrial hemp as distinct and removed barriers to its production: California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia. However, despite changes to state laws allowing hemp, farmers in these states risk raids by federal agents, prison time and land forfeiture if they plant the crop, due to the failure of federal policy to distinguish oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis (i.e., industrial hemp) from drug varieties.

Currently, Vote Hemp and the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) are organizing Hemp History Week, a national campaign sponsoring local educational and retailer events in all 50 states from June 2-8, 2014. This industry-wide project involves hundreds of hemp manufacturers, retailers and volunteers. For more information, visit: www.HempHistoryWeek.com.

Jerry Brown signs the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act

October 1, 2013

Vote Hemp and the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) are excited to report that Governor Jerry Brown has signed SB 566, the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act. After moving smoothly through the California legislature with strong bi-partisan support, this landmark legislation has now become California law. Introduced by Senator Mark Leno earlier this year, SB 566 ensures that California is prepared to begin registering hemp farmers once the federal government has given states the green light. The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act will establish a framework for farming the oilseed and fiber varieties of the plant, which are used in a myriad of everyday consumer products, including food, body care, clothing, paper, auto parts, composites, building materials, and bio-fuels.

David Bronner Arrested at White House (Video)

2011 California Hemp Bill Vetoed by Gov. "Moonbeam" Brown

His rational was to protect California farmers from the DEA, even though he thinks Industrial Hemp is a good thing. Oh well.

On May 18th, 2011 the California Senate voted 22 to 14 to pass SB 676, the hemp farming bill. The bill has now been sent to the Assembly. On Tuesday SB 676 passed out of the Public Safety Committee on a 5 to 2 vote! There are several more committee hearings yet to come, but we are very optimistic that SB 676 will pass the full Assembly and go to the Governor's desk for his signature.

So far we have been able to move the bill due to strong lobbying. Vote Hemp has sent representatives to each of the five County Farm Bureaus where the program would take place. Last week the Imperial County Farm Bureau sent a letter of support to the legislature. We also attend each of the hearings and do lobbying.


United Nations Hemp Development Program in Lebanon!

Projects Database / Sustainable Land Management Program for Livelihood Development in Lebanon. This test project will end in December 2011 and will hopefully move forward.

Project ID
00058344


Background
The war situation, which prevailed in Lebanon for decades, has negatively affected the livelihood of local communities mainly in remote rural areas. Environmental degradation causes additional socio-economic burden on the livelihood of rural communities. The sustainable use of natural resources is very important along with income generation and proper market linkages for the sustainable land management and livelihood development. The Sustainable Land Management Programme for Livelihood Development in Lebanon will assist the Lebanese Government in identifying the specific problems and obstacles encountered in the long-term process of reducing land degradation and achieving sustainable land management. The programme will focus on integrated rural livelihood development by integrating sustainable natural resource management with better alternatives in agricultural production and enhancing proper market linkages. The programme will explore industrial hemp, which does not require pesticide applications, as an alternative to the high THC cannabis plant in the Bekaa for improving the livelihood of rural communities and reducing land degradation.

Achievements & Expected Results
Ministry of Agriculture assisted in promoting sustainable land management for rural livelihood development in Lebanon:
- Coordination of all on-going UNDP-MoA projects within this programme.
- Provide advisory services and coordination.
- Undergo resource mobilization.

Industrial hemp promoted as a potential alternative to narcotic plants in the Bekaa for improving the livelihood of rural communities:
- Technical capacity building to produce and market Industrial Hemp.
- Selection of hemp variety and farming areas.
- Implementation of Industrial Hemp.