North Dakota Legalizes Hemp Production


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On Jan. 1, North Dakota becomes the first state to legalize production of industrial hemp.

"The administrative rules committee of the Legislative Council has reviewed the rules and has not recommended any changes," Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson said Monday. "After Jan. 1, 2007, North Dakotans will be able to apply for licenses to grow industrial hemp."

Johnson said the rules implement several bills approved by the North Dakota Legislature over the past decade, but he cautioned interested producers that they cannot actually begin growing industrial hemp until they receive a license from the state and are approved by the federal government.

"Our rules clearly state that persons who hold licenses to grow industrial hemp must also obtain permission from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). It will be up to the DEA to allow producers to compete with other countries for the profits from this potentially valuable crop."

Other provisions of the rules include:

Producers must consent to a criminal background check, including fingerprints.

Buyers and the amount of harvested hemp sold must be documented.

The location of hemp fields must be provided using geopositioning instrumentation.

Planted hemp seed must contain less than three-tenths of one percent tetrahydrocannabinol.

Johnson said the North Dakota Department of Agriculture will be working during the next few weeks to ensure that license application procedures and forms are ready after Jan. 1.

The North Dakota Legislature has passed several significant bills related to hemp cultivation since 1999. The proposed rules would implement the legislation.

Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa) is widely grown around the world and is used in the manufacture of textiles, paper and rope. The seed is also used for food and feed. Oil derived from the plant is used in cosmetics, paints and medicinal compounds. The industrial form of hemp contains only trace amounts of the psychoactive drug delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana.

Newshawk: User - 420 Magazine
Source: West Fargo Pioneer
Pubdate: 6 December 2006
Copyright: 2006 Forum Communications Co.
Contact: West Fargo Pioneer
Website: West Fargo Pioneer
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