December 30, 2014

New Year’s Revolutions: The Return of the US Hemp Industry

The Leaf Online
In the last post of this series, the Leaf outlined the reasons why the year 2015 will probably usher in some kind of federal rescheduling of cannabinoids, although the reform may not be the kind many activists are looking for. This post looks at another facet of the diverse cannabis industry: the return of industrial hemp.

Although the US hemp industry is already back in microcosmic form, the nascent gaggle of family and experimental plots cultivated in 2014 will likely be dwarfed by the 2015 crop, sown in the wake of significant federal reforms. Topping the bill is a rider in the 2015 federal funding bill which deprives the Department of Justice of any funds to move against state-legal industrial hemp programs, as the Drug Enforcement Agency attempted to do in Kentucky last May. That bill only takes effect for one year, but when coupled with an amendment to the 2013 farm bill signed by President Obama which legalized limited hemp cultivation for research purposes in about a dozen states, the new bevy of federal laws is beginning to look like real reform.

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