No sooner did the Bush administration decide in recent days not to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court a unanimous 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling of February that hemp foods should be legal for sale and consumption, than manufacturers began lining up to peddle hemp products at this week’s food expo at the Washington Convention Center.
The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) says there is now no question that it has won its three-year case against the Drug Enforcement Administration, which sought to ban hempseed and hemp seed oil foods. The court basically ruled that hemp seeds were as safe for human consumption as poppy seeds.
In fact, HIA Executive Director Candi Penn says Americans looking for healthy alternative sources of omega-3 because of trace mercury in fish and fish-oil supplements can find it in hemp food. The big question now is whether U.S. farmers will be allowed to start growing hemp for industrial purposes.
Alexis Baden-Mayer, director of government affairs for Vote Hemp, says the U.S. marketplace is currently supplied by hemp seed grown and processed in Canada and Europe.
“We will now work to convince Congress it is time for the U.S. to again allow American farmers to grow industrial hemp and participate in this lucrative growth market,” she says.
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