Maine House Passes Bill to Nullify Unconstitutional Federal Ban on Hemp Farming and Production

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.

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California Senate Unanimously Asks Feds’ Permission to Legalize Hemp

After a veto from Governor Jerry Brown in 2011, another hemp legalization bil unanimously passed the California Senate on Tuesday, June 4.

SB 566 was written to acquiesce Governor Brown’s out-of-touch constitutional ignorance. Under the current bill, hemp production would only begin once California receives permission from the federal government.

“We feel confident that California will finally have an industrial hemp law later this year ensuring that California farmers are ready and able to cultivate hemp upon federal approval,” Patrick Goggin, California legal counsel for the industry group Vote Hemp said.

Should SB 566 be construed as some mechanism to make the federal government act? Hardly. But it does indicate the growing support for hemp production, not only in California, but across the United States.

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Maine Action Alert: Help Nullify Unconstitutional Federal Ban on Hemp Farming

Maine LD 525 is an Act to Promote Industrial Hemp. This bill has finally reported out of committee after it passed favorably. LD525 is expected for a vote on the House Floor sometime this week.

Under current Maine law, hemp is legal for certain purposes, though the law mandates that an individual can’t receive a license to grow until federal law changes – this measure would remove that requirement, and would allow farmers in the state to begin cultivating hemp this year – with or without federal “permission”

Your help is needed right now to move this legislation forward!

1. Contact your state representative.  Let them know that you want LD525 passed. 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: http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/townlist.htm

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.

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Colorado Nullifies Federal Hemp Ban With Governor’s Signature

COLORADO SPRINGS – On Tuesday, Colorado Gov.John Hickenlooper signed SB13-241 into law, effectively nullifying the federal ban on industrial hemp farming in the Centennial State.

Under the new law, the Colorado Department of Agriculture can create a state Industrial Hemp Pilot Program and Registry, giving Colorado’s farmers the ability to begin the process to “engage in industrial hemp cultivation for commercial purposes.”

The recent passage of Amendment 64 legalizing the cultivation and recreational use of marijuana in Colorado had the major impact on the state’s agricultural sector, and laid the groundwork for passage of this bill. Now, farmers in Colorado can apply for a 10 acre research plot, or they can apply for larger farms.

“I believe this is really going to revitalize and strengthen farm communities,” says Ryan Lofin, the man who planted Americas first hemp crop in 60 years on 60 acres of his family’s Colorado farmland. That plot previously supported alfalfa.

Steve Wilson of the Missouri Hemp Network praised Colordado’s new law.

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