Understanding the Latest in Hemp Legislation
As the path to full and final legalization of hemp and hemp-derived products continues to take shape, there were two major storylines recently that -- while misconstrued by many -- highlight the positive position and growing nationwide support of federal hemp legislation. Here’s a quick review, and please take a few minutes today to voice your support for hemp: hempsupporter.com/resources/.
1) Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Denies HIA Petition
Early last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a petition from the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) to review the controversial “marijuana extract rule” issued in 2016 by the DEA. The general public’s reaction to this headline grabbing announcement was largely one of fear and concern, as some thought the ruling negatively affected hemp and hemp-derived products in the eyes of the DEA.
This public misconception couldn’t be further from the truth -- as noted by the U.S. Hemp Roundtable in their response to the ruling. The simple fact is, the DEA’s ruling does not apply to hemp or derivative products like hemp-derived CBD. Despite the attention earning keywords, the Ninth Circuit Court ruled the decision has no precedent, and stated the disposition was “not appropriate for publication” due to its lack of relevance and overall value.
GenCanna’s Takeaway: Hemp is food. Hemp is not marijuana. This ruling has absolutely nothing to do with hemp or hemp-derived products.
2) Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Endorses Hemp Farming Act
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) joined his counterpart U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in co-sponsoring S.2667, the Hemp Farming Act of 2018. Senator Schumer argued it was time for hemp to be permanently removed from the purview of the Controlled Substances Act.
“It’s a crock,” said Schumer, “It makes no sense that the DEA is the primary regulator, and that they stop farmers and investors from growing hemp.” Minority Leader Schumer continued, “Why are we buying hemp from other countries, when we have hundreds of acres that could be grown right here in our backyard?”
The bipartisan Senate bill has been vocally supported by Senators McConnell and Rand Paul of Kentucky, Senator Schumer from New York, and Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden of Oregon.
GenCanna’s leadership has played an integral role in the communication and advocacy of this bill. Uniquely positioned as an initial participant of the industrial hemp research pilot program in Kentucky, founding member of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, and a model for compliance and scale nationally, GenCanna™ leaders have spent time on both sides of the aisle -- with Leader McConnell in advance of his official sponsorship of S.2667, and with Leader Schumer’s legal and agricultural team just before his groundbreaking announcement of support last week.
GenCanna’s Takeaway: The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 has been extremely well received by both sides of the aisle in Congress. In a time when bipartisan agreement between Republicans and Democrats has proven difficult, our country’s leadership and their constituents have been roundly supportive of the full and final legalization of hemp and hemp-derived products.
Although major events like these provide a positive outlook for the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, the journey is far from over. It is critical to encourage many more Senators and Congressmen to join Leaders McConnell and Schumer in support of S.2667 and its companion bill in the House, HR 5485. The US Hemp Roundtable has created an online portal to make it simple for you to send a personalized message to your Members of Congress, share your voice today: https://hempsupporter.com/resources/.