Albuquerque, New Mexico — Delegates for the American Farm Bureau Federation withdrew language approved last year opposing research and domestic cultivation of industrial hemp, Reuters News Service reported.
Representatives from 11 states pushed for the removal of the language, adopted last year at the request of Missouri Farm Bureau president Charles Kruse. Kruse lobbied the Farm Bureau after hearing concerns from law enforcement that hemp and marijuana were indistinguishable.
Delegates initially endorsed a resolution in 1996 to “encourage research into the viability and economic potential of industrial hemp production in the United States,…includ[ing] planting test plots…using modern agricultural techniques.” Delegates voted 198 to 168 last year to reverse that position.
A spokesman from the Farm Bureau said they dropped their opposition to hemp because farmers are in need of alternative crops, the Reuters report said.
At least 29 nations, including Canada, France, England, Germany, Japan, and Australia, allow farmers to grow non-psychoactive hemp for its fiber content. This fall, authors of a University of North Dakota study recommended allowing American farmers to grow test plots of hemp for experimental production, and estimated that the crop could yield profits as high as $141 per acre to farmers.
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