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President Obama to sign Farm Bill with hemp grow provision

President Barack Obama will sign H.R.2642, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, into law today.

Section 7606 of the Farm Bill establishes a pilot program for colleges and state agencies to grow industrial hemp for research purposes. The provision is valid only in the states where hemp is legal -- those states include California, Oregon, Montana, Colorado, North Dakota and Maine.

South Dakota isn't included. Drug enforcement agents destroyed hemp crops planted by a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe because he failed to obtain a federal permit.

Alex White Plume was one of the pioneers in the industry. When he planted his crops in the the late 1990s and early 2000s, only one state allowed cultivation of hemp but now 10 allow it.

The text of the Farm Bill provision follows:
SEC. 7606. LEGITIMACY OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP RESEARCH. (a) In General.—Notwithstanding the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (20 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.), chapter 81 of title 41, United States Code, or any other Federal law, an institution of higher education (as defined in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001)) or a State department of agriculture may grow or cultivate industrial hemp if—

(1) the industrial hemp is grown or cultivated for purposes of research conducted under an agricultural pilot program or other agricultural or academic research; and

(2) the growing or cultivating of industrial hemp is allowed under the laws of the State in which such institution of higher education or State department of agriculture is located and such research occurs.

(b) Definitions.—In this section:

(1) AGRICULTURAL PILOT PROGRAM.—The term “agricultural pilot program” means a pilot program to study the growth, cultivation, or marketing of industrial hemp—

(A) in States that permit the growth or cultivation of industrial hemp under the laws of the State; and

(B) in a manner that—

(i) ensures that only institutions of higher education and State departments of agriculture are used to grow or cultivate industrial hemp;

(ii) requires that sites used for growing or cultivating industrial hemp in a State be certified by, and registered with, the State department of agriculture; and

(iii) authorizes State departments of agriculture to promulgate regulations to carry out the pilot program in the States in accordance with the purposes of this section.

(2) INDUSTRIAL HEMP.—The term “industrial hemp” means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.

(3) STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.—The term “State department of agriculture” means the agency, commission, or department of a State government responsible for agriculture within the State.

Get the Story:
Hemp provision in Farm Bill clears way for crop (The Grand Forks Herald 2/5)
Farm bill promotes hemp as legal crop (Al Jazeera 2/5)
Noting Agriculture’s Growth, Obama Will Sign Farm Bill (The New York Times 2/7)

Related Stories:
Native Sun News: Farm Bill includes heavy cut to food stamps (2/5)
Congress sends Farm Bill to President Obama for signature (2/5)

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