The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013 was officially re-filed in both the U.S. Senate (S.134) and the U.S. House (H.R. 525), and is thus now the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015.
This short and simple Act seeks to remove industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (“CSA”) by supplementing the CSA definition of “marihuana” (21 U.S.C. 802(16)) so that “the term ‘marihuana’ does not include industrial hemp.” The Act adopts the definition of “industrial hemp” encoded in the §7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (aka the “Farm Bill”) as follows:
“[T]he term ‘industrial hemp’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
It is noteworthy that unlike the definition of “marihuana,” the definition of industrial hemp does not exclude plant resins, a legislative nuance that could prove to be very significant with respect to CBD-rich oil extraction.
The Senate version of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act was filed in January by Sen. R. Wyden (D-OR) on behalf of himself and prime co-sponsors Sen. Merkley (D-OR) and Sen. McConnell (R-KY) and Paul (R-KY). The House version, also introduced in January, was filed by Rep. T. Massie (R-KY) on behalf of himself and numerous bipartisan co-sponsors.
The only difference between these sister bills is located in Section 3 of each. Both bills seek to amend §201 of the CSA by including the following:
“(i) Industrial hemp determination. —If a person grows or processes Cannabis sativa (sic) L. for purposes of making industrial hemp in accordance with State law, the Cannabis sativa (sic) L. shall be deemed to meet the concentration limitation under section 102(57).” However, the Senate version adds this qualifier to the aforementioned final sentence: “unless the Attorney General determines that the State law is not reasonably calculated to comply with section 102(57).”
As of Labor Day 2015, only nine U.S. senators have co-sponsored S.134. If you support the legalization of industrial hemp, contact your senator by phone, mail and/or email to request that they co-sponsor S.134. For more information or to communicate to your senator, go to www.VoteHemp.com and click the “Take Action” tab.