State-legalized hemp farming programs will remain legal under the Farm Bill and continue to expand and flourish in the United States.
That’s according to The Hemp Industries Association (HIA), which recently released this statement in response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Jan. 4 announcement to rescind the 2013 Obama administration memo saying it would not stand in the way of states that legalize marijuana.
Because the definition of “marihuana” under the Controlled Substances Act does not distinguish between marijuana and industrial hemp, protections are still in place for industrial hemp farming programs, the Association says.
“As we extol our optimism regarding industrial hemp, we must also make it clear that the HIA does not support the recent rescission action by the Department of Justice,” said Colleen Keahey, the HIA executive director.
“This rescission stands to impact important business relationships that exist between industrial hemp brands and hemp product manufacturers, and the legal retail marijuana market. Marijuana retailers reach a focused pro-cannabis market where hemp clothing, food, paper, plastics and hemp-derived CBD product sales are known to perform well,” she continued.
“This decision is a step backward for U.S. cannabis policy, and boldly ignores voters who overwhelmingly support marijuana legalization,” said Joy Beckerman, the association’s vice president.
“If anything, the threat by the Department of Justice to crack down on state-legal marijuana could result in spurring Congress to once-and-for-all act to fully and finally protect the growth and expansion of the new American hemp economy,” Beckerman said.
As recently reported, Colorado was among the first to legalize marijuana and has raised nearly $200 million in pot revenue last year alone. Just this year, recreational use of marijuana became legal in California.