Wednesday February 12, 2014 0 commentsWASHINGTON, D.C. - Colorado is one of 10 states that can immediately begin industrial hemp research under an amendment to the new Farm Bill recently signed by President Barack Obama.
The amendment, originally introduced by Colorado Congressman Jared Polis, allows state agriculture departments, colleges and universities to grow hemp, defined as the non-drug oil seed and fiber varieties of Cannabis for academic or agricultural research purposes.
The amendment applies only to states where industrial hemp farming is already legal under state law.
"With the U.S. hemp industry estimated at over $500 million in annual retail sales and growing, a change in federal law to allow colleges and universities to grow hemp for research means that we will finally begin to regain the knowledge that unfortunately has been lost over the past 50 years," said Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp, a grassroots advocacy organization working to revitalize U.S. industrial hemp production.
"The market opportunities for hemp are incredibly promising, ranging from textiles and health foods to home construction and even automobile manufacturing. This is not just a boon to U.S. farmers, this is a boon to U.S. manufacturing industries as well."
Steenstra said so far in 2014, industrial hemp legislation has been introduced in 13 states.