The Hemp Industries Association has launched the 9th annual Hemp History Week with a call to action to lift the federal prohibition on commercial cultivation of industrial hemp. This Hemp History Week June 4 – 10, 2018, will witness hundreds of events taking place across the nation, to raise awareness about the benefits of hemp, highlight sustainable hemp products and U.S. hemp businesses, and catalyze pressure on Congress to pass the Hemp Farming Act of 2018.
This year, Hemp History Week focuses on the theme Deep Roots, a metaphor that speaks doubly to the deeply rooted history of hemp farming in the U.S. and its role in shaping the early American agricultural and industrial economy; as well as the deep roots hemp extends into the soil, which make hemp a valuable, versatile crop in regenerative organic farming models that rely on deep taproot crops to prevent soil erosion, and convey nutrients and minerals between crop rotations.
“Farmers and entrepreneurs are so eager to begin producing hemp at full commercial scale, to finally be able to supply with U.S. grown hemp the largest market for hemp in the world—that of the U.S.!” said Colleen Keahey Lanier, Executive Director of the Hemp Industries Association. “This Hemp History Week we come together in support of hemp farming, in support of giving our farmers a new valuable crop, in support of healthy American made products, and in support of a more sustainable future.”
On April 12, 2018, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced the introduction of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018. If passed, this bill would legalize hemp as an agricultural commodity and remove it from the list of controlled substances. With industrial hemp legalized at the federal level, U.S. farmers would have the right to grow hemp commercially. Furthermore, if passed, the Hemp Farming Act would positively impact the U.S. hemp industry in the following ways: 1) Improve cooperation with regulatory bodies such as the USDA and FDA; 2) Protect interstate commerce of U.S.-grown and manufactured hemp products; 3) Normalize crop insurance, financing, and other business proceedings for hemp companies; 4) Advance research opportunities by providing access to federal research grants; 5) Ensure access to public water rights for hemp farmers; and 6) Protect the variety of legal hemp products per a “Whole Plant” definition of hemp.
In the effort to pressure Congress to pass the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, Hemp History Week in conjunction with Vote Hemp, will hold a “Take Action!” petition drive, to encourage voters to contact their representatives to support lifting the prohibition on hemp farming.