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New Federal Farm Bill Allows Industrial Hemp Research, But Michigan May Be Missing Opportunity, Says Advocacy Group

Posted at February 20, 2014 | By : | Categories : Blog,MIHEMP Update,Press Release | 0 Comment

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Hillman, MI – The Michigan Industrial Hemp Education and Marketing Project, MIHEMP, is excited to report that on February 7th, 2014, President Obama signed the Agriculture Act of 2014, commonly called the Farm Bill, which contains a forward-thinking Amendment allowing the legal growth of industrial hemp.  After passing Congress, the final bill was signed by the President here in Michigan.

The Amendment () permits colleges, universities and state agricultural departments to grow hemp — defined as the non-drug oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis — for academic or agricultural research purposes.  One caveat, however, is the provision’s exclusion of states where industrial hemp farming is not already advocated or otherwise allowed under state law.

“Since hemp farming is not legal in Michigan, one of the leading agricultural universities in the nation, Michigan State University, will not be allowed to do research on the crop and will not be eligible for grants associated with the program,” says MIHEMP Executive Director Everett Swift.

The law applies to California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia; each of which have passed industrial hemp farming laws removing barriers to its production.  Swift proclaims, “It’s not too late for Michigan to take advantage of this opportunity, but we need state legislators to pass a hemp farming bill with the Governor’s signature on it within the next couple of months if we are going to have any hopes for a research crop in 2014.”

Knowing politics, however, Swift isn’t hopeful for a quick resolution.  “I don’t expect to see that happen,” Swift continues, “without great public support.”

Over the next few months MIHEMP will be working with local lawmakers and statewide agricultural and environmental organizations to educate the media and citizens on this issue.  “We have an opportunity here to let legislators and their constituents know how we can take advantage of this important crop,” Swift states, citing a myriad of uses for a crop which must be imported from Canada and Europe for use in America’s automotive industry, where hemp components are already used in dozens of car lines.

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Established in 2008, The Michigan Industrial Hemp Education and Marketing Project, also known as MIHEMP, is a Michigan nonprofit organization working to expand Industrial Hemp as a natural resource for industrial and private enterprise in the State of Michigan.  Information about the organization may be found at .  The Automotive Report Everett cites can be found here:

 

Text of The Legislative Amendment

MIHEMP would like to thank each of the bipartisan members of Congress and Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, for their votes in favor of this historical bill. Also, , America’s largest pro-hemp organization, deserves a round of applause for their efforts.

 

MIHEMP encourages all members and anyone with a passion for this issue to both call and write their
– County Commisioners (see MIHEMP’s guide here)
– US Senators
– US Representatives
– State Senators
– State Representatives
– State Governors, and of course
– President Barack Obama
to voice your strong support for Industrial Hemp.

 

Don’t know where to start? Find out who your elected officials are by going !

 

Don’t know what to say? for all the latest information on this dynamic issue.

 

If you have any questions, contact , or MIHEMP’s Director of Communication, Paul Pearson at 313.622.3429, or MIHEMP’s Executive Director, Everett Swift at 989.884.1139.

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