A bill has been filed in the United States Senate (with bi-partisan support) that could legalize industrial hemp cultivation and production throughout the country.
The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 bill would remove any federal restrictions on the domestic cultivation of industrial hemp. The bill would also remove hemp from being a Schedule I controlled substance and would define it as a non-drug, as long as it contains less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
“The U.S. ban on hemp farming is an outrageous restriction on free enterprise and does nothing but hurt economic growth and job creation,” stated Sen. Wyden. “Our bipartisan, common-sense bill is pro-environment, pro-business, and pro-farmer. Congress must act to empower farmers and boost economic activity across the country. As I’ve always said, if you can buy it in Oregon, you should be able to grow it in Oregon.”
Hemp products, such as food and clothing, are legal to sell in the United States, but must be grown in other countries and imported into the United States.
Farmers worldwide grow hemp for commercial purposes, such as for fiber, seed, and oil, which are used in a variety of industrial and consumer products. The United States is the only developed nation that does not cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop, according to the Congressional Resource Service.
More than thirty countries worldwide produce industrial hemp, including: Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, England, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, among others.