Last Wednesday, the Maine House of Representatives passed LD525 (Industrial Hemp) which allows hemp cultivation in the state of Maine, effectively nullifying unconstitutional federal acts which ban the same. The bill is a simple amendment to previous hemp farming laws removing a requirement that federal permission must first be acquired before production is authorized. The final vote on LD525 was 24-10 (roll call here).
The amendment simply states:
3. Application. A person desiring to grow industrial hemp for commercial purposes shall apply to the commissioner for a license on a form prescribed by the commissioner. The application must include the name and address of the applicant, the legal description of the land area to be used for the production of industrial hemp and a map, an aerial photograph or global positioning coordinates sufficient for locating the production fields.
4. License issued. Upon review and approval of an application, the commissioner shall notify the applicant and request that the application fee determined under subsection 7 be submitted. Upon receipt of the appropriate fee, the commissioner shall issue a license, which is valid for a period of one year and only for the site or sites specified in the license.
The bill now has moved to the Maine State Senate where Senator Emily Cain made a motion to have the bill placed on the Special Appropriations Table. In Maine, the Special Appropriations Table is where funding of the bill is determined. If the bill is properly funded, it moves forward. However, this is also the one of those legislative road blocks that is often used to kill bills. If the Senate fails to fund a bill, it will die here. So putting pressure on Maine State Senators is crucial for the advancement of this bill. If passed, Maine would become the 2nd state in the country to nullify the unconstitutional federal ban on hemp farming and production. Just this month, Colorado’s Governor Hickenloooper signed a bill making his state the first.
1. Contact your STATE SENATE representative. Strongly, but respectfully, let them know that you want a YES vote on LD525. This bill is important for Maine farmers, it’s important for jobs, and it’s important for the economy.
Contact info here
2. Share this information widely. Please pass this along to your friends and family. Also share it with any and all grassroots groups you’re in contact with around the state. Please encourage them to email this information to their members and supporters.
ADDITIONAL READING AND RESOURCES
The federal Controlled Substance Act included hemp as a Schedule I drug in 1970. The feds consider growing it without a DEA issued permit a crime. The feds have only issued one such permit, to Hawaii, back in 1999. It has since expired. This has created a de-fact federal ban on growing the plant. And as a result, the United States is the world’s #1 importer of hemp, while China and Canada are the top 2 exporters. Some supporters say that nullifying this federal ban would be a huge win for jobs, for American farmers, and for the economy.
LD 525 seeks to nullify the unconstitutional federal ban on the production hemp. The federal government lacks the constitutional authority to regulate the production of hemp, or any agricultural product, within a state’s borders, and LD525 rests on solid ground.
HEMP OVERVIEW AND USE
Industrial hemp is not marijuana, but an industrial agricultural product used for a wide variety of purposes, including the manufacture of cordage of varying tensile strength, durable clothing and nutritional products. During World War II, the United States military relied heavily on hemp products, which resulted in the famous campaign and government-produced film, “Hemp for Victory!“
Even though soil, climate and agricultural capabilities could make the United States a massive producer of industrial hemp, today no hemp is grown for public sale, use and consumption within the United States. China is the world’s greatest producer and the United States is the #1 importer of hemp and hemp products in the world.
Since the enactment of the unconstitutional federal controlled-substances act in 1970, the Drug Enforcement Agency has prevented the production of hemp within the United States. Many hemp supporters feel that the DEA has been used as an “attack dog” of sorts to prevent competition with major industries where American-grown hemp products would create serious market competition: Cotton, Paper/Lumber, Oil, and others.