The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Winter Meeting was held December 13-15, 2000 in Washington, D.C. Members of the Agriculture and International Trade Committee adopted a new policy supporting more flexible federal policy regarding the cultivation and marketing of industrial hemp.
The following letter was sent to President Clinton:
December 26, 2000
The Honorable William J. Clinton
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest
Washington, D.C. 20500
Re: Cultivation and Marketing of Industrial Hemp
Dear President Clinton:
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) supports flexible federal policies to allow states to determine the viability of industrial hemp. Eleven states have passed bills or resolutions supporting the re-introduction of this product into American agriculture. But, federal barriers to the cultivation and production of industrial hemp have effectively blocked these states from determining its viability and market potential.
Today, imported industrial hemp products are being sold legally and with profit in the United States, with an estimated $50 million market. Industrial hemp has a multitude of commercial applications, and demand for these products has resulted in the U.S. becoming the largest importer of foreign-grown hemp-based materials in the world. Federal barriers have prevented American farmers from profiting from this agriculturally based international market.
NCSL strongly urges the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Office of National Drug Control Policy to collaboratively develop and adopt an official definition of industrial hemp, as per those nations currently producing hemp. NCSL is also strongly urging Congress to amend U.S. Code sections 21 U.S.C. Sec. 812 (10) and 21 U.S.C. Sec. 841 to distinguish between industrial hemp and marijuana varieties of cannabis as they relate to production, possession, delivery and intended use.
NCSL requests the USDA and the DEA to review the procedures under which their Canadian counterparts are authorized to sanction the commercial development of industrial hemp. NCSL is also strongly urging Congress statutorily to direct the DEA to revise its policies to be less restrictive and to allow states to establish state regulatory programs, thus fostering the development of domestic hemp production by American farmers and manufacturers.
The National Conference of State Legislatures looks forward to working with you and your staff on this important issue. Should there be questions, please contact David Naftzger of the NCSL staff at 202-624-8662.
Indiana House of Representatives
Chair, NCSL Agriculture and International Trade committee
NCSL staff contacts: Steve Smith
AFI Agriculture & International Trade Committee
December 13-15, 2000
NCSL AFI/ASI Joint Winter Meeting Summary
The NCSL AFI/ASI Joint Winter Meeting was held from December 13-15, 2000 in Washington, D.C. The Agriculture and International Trade committee kicked off the meeting December 13 with a session on the new Administration’s international trade agenda. The committee then held a series of meetings on topics ranging from food labeling to agricultural contracting. Members adopted a new policy supporting more flexible federal policy regarding the cultivation and marketing of industrial hemp. The committee also passed a policy directed at unfair marketing practices by agribusinesses and adopted an updated version of the existing policy on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Copies of all of the policies and handouts are available from Dave Naftzger or Steve Smith at 202-624-5400.
This May Not be Your Father’s Hemp but Will it be Your State’s?
Representative Maxine Bell, Idaho, NCSL Agriculture and International Trade Committee Vice-Chair
John Howell, President, Hempwell Inc.; Robert Maginnis, Vice President for National Security and Foreign Policy, Family Research Council
Bad Medicine and Drug Legalization: A 2000 Update; Hemp Country; Industrial Hemp in the United States: Status and Market Potential; State Legislative Action for the Development of a Hemp Industry in the U.S.
During this session, the committee heard differing viewpoints regarding the potential of industrial hemp as an alternative crop. Members adopted a new policy supporting more flexible federal policy regarding the cultivation and marketing of this product.
The next meeting of the AFI Agriculture and International Trade committee will be May 10-12, 2001 at the NCSL AFI Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C.
Copyright © 2000, National Conference of State Legislatures. All rights reserved.