FEDERAL HEMP CAMPAIGN TO PASS THE INDUSTRIAL HEMP FARMING ACT OF 2015
Quick Update: In addition to man-hours and energy, last year (2015) Bluebird Botanicals donated $35,000 to the National Hemp Association for the purpose of passing the Industrial Hemp Farming Act. We also raised over $10,000 from our customers for the same purpose, for a total of $45,000 contributed last year.
Quick Update: July 2016- The Industrial Hemp Farming act now has 73 co-sponsors in the House and 14 in the Senate!
Quick Update: June 9th, 2016- Yesterday, during Hemp History Week, Senator Ron Wyden spoke emphatically on the senate floor about the immediate need to put the Industrial Hemp Farming Act into law! The tide is turning, and it’s beautiful to see and be a part of it. See Senator Wyden’s 7 minute hemp speech here!
Quick Update: December 2015 – The most recent co-sponsor of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 is presidential candidate Bernie Sanders!
Quick Update: Bluebird’s VP, Quinatzin De La Torre, gave a powerful speech about the Industrial Hemp Farming Act and cannabis industry at the Cannabist Awards on December 15, 2015, at the Denver Post. Watch below.
June 10, 2016 UPDATE
Earlier this month the President and Vice President of Bluebird Botanicals met with 22 other hemp industry leaders in Washington, DC for a historic meeting, establishing a Hemp Coalition made up of private companies, non-profit industry associations, as well as legal and lobbying firms – all with the shared goal of passing S.134 and HR.525 through Congress, and other related efforts. (See Photo Below)
Currently the USA is the largest importer and consumer of Hemp products, and we’re the only industrialized nation that doesn’t grow it. This federal legislation will pave the way for industrial hemp to be produced, processed, and distributed nationwide – in all capacities, without restriction. There are many uses for hemp including rebuilding soil; making textiles and super-capacitors for batteries from the fiber; producing paper products from the pulp; using the stalk to create car door panels and other automobile parts, “hemp-crete” for homes and buildings, and hemp bio-fuel; and creating food, beverages, and other nutritional products from hemp seeds and oil, to name a few. Opening the U.S. Hemp Market for business would help create thousands of jobs for American hemp farmers and small businesses, and it would solidify the economic security of our nation for many generations not yet born.
Click here to hear an audio interview with iHemp Revolution and Bluebird Botanicals’ President Brandon Beatty speaking about Bluebird, the newly-formed Hemp Coalition and our shared goal to pass the Industrial Hemp Farming Act.
Dec. 8, 2015 UPDATE
In order to help us pass the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015, Dutko Grayling and Steve Perry, a lobbying firm and master political strategist in Washington DC, will be spearheading the campaign alongside the National Hemp Association. Click Six Page Campaign Summary to download the most recent campaign summary, in .doc format. Also, below is a shorter One Page Campaign Summary which can also be downloaded in PDF format using the link.
ONE PAGE CAMPAIGN SUMMARY– THE ROAD TO LEGALIZE HEMP
Today, industrial hemp is illegal to grow in the U.S. Despite its varied uses and benefits, hemp is stuck in anantiquated legal regime where it is associated with street drugs such as heroin. It has zero drug value. Recently, Congress has recognized this mistake and has begun to take steps to permit limited production of hemp in the U.S. under the Farm bill. At a time when farm jobs are in small supply and so many farmers are looking to transition crops away from tobacco, the opportunity to unleash the potential of hemp to be a productive cash crop is right at our fingertips. This initiative could literally lead to thousands of jobs in production, manufacturing, and consumption of hemp products. Legislation to legalize hemp is now before the Congress and we respectfully ask you to join a bipartisan group of members as a cosponsor of H.R. 525 and S. 134, The Industrial Hemp Farming Acts, to bring this necessary change.
Background– Why Are We Supporting Chinese Farmers?
Hemp is one of our world’s oldest plants. It has been grown and used since time immemorial. Today, it is used in rope, carpets, brake/clutch linings, automotive body parts, shoes, fabrics, paper, cardboard, cement, wallboard, fuel, lubricants, soap, shampoo, cosmetics, prescription drugs, granola, energy bars and many, many other consumer items here in this country. Any yet, we import it. Last year, estimates suggest we imported almost a half billion dollars. Over 30 countries produce hemp, but most of the U.S. supply comes from China. So why do we do this? Back in the 1930’s two prominent U.S. industrialists took on this project to ban production of hemp to protect their own economic interests. Over time, hemp products in the U.S. have become more commonplace. But its production here is still banned.
Agricultural Benefits– What’s Not to Like About Hemp?
Hemp requires little fertilizer, and grows well almost everywhere. It also resists pests, so it uses little pesticides. Hemp puts down deep roots, which is good for the soil, and when the leaves drop off the hemp plant, minerals and nitrogen are returned to the soil. Hemp has been grown on the same soil for twenty years in a row without any noticeable depletion of the soil. For all of these reasons, hemp is an appealing crop to grow.
Drug Implications– Hemp is NOT Pot!
Some misunderstandings continue to persist about hemp. The most common one is that it is marijuana. The only thing hemp has in common with marijuana is that it comes from the same plant family. But the two plants are radically different. Hemp has no measurable psychoactive drug value. Consequently, it has nothing to do with recreational drugs.
Legal Production of Hemp– Time to Grow Hemp Here!
Twenty-eight states–California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia—currently have laws to provide for hemp pilot studies and/or for production as permitted under the 2014 Farm Bill. Much more can be done to allow hemp to thrive as a cash crop.
Federal Legislation– Our Leaders Want a Hearing!
Sponsors Rep Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Sen Ron Wyden (D-OR) have introduced companion bills H.R. 525 and S. 134, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act, to remove the ban on growing hemp in the U.S. With substantial support from their colleagues, our sponsors are in a position to move these bills. Farmers need the certainty that this crop will be deemed legal to grow before they will commit acreage to cultivation. Most immediately, a stronger push by cosponsors of these measures will give momentum for hearings to be held in the House and Senate Judiciary Committees early next year.
Support– Fans of Legislative Action!
A number of farm groups have already endorsed these bills – the American Farm Bureau, National Farmers Union, and the National Grange. In addition, the National Hemp Association, Hemp Industries Association, Vote Hemp, and North American Industrial Hemp Council all support these legislative changes.
Conclusion– Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!
It is long overdue that this federal law be changed to reflect modern realities. We have a farm sector that is eager to plant a hemp crop. And we have a growing set of uses eager for cheaper and more plentiful supplies. This may be one of the most important rural jobs bills to become before the Congress this session. We urge your support for this necessary change.”
Nov. 17, 2015 UPDATE
We have a big announcement today. As many of you know, we recently partnered with the National Hemp Association to help them legitimize and expand the hemp industry here in the United States. On November 11th of last week we officially launched our Federal Hemp Campaign with the goal of passing the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 (H.R. 525 and S.134), a federal bill that would fully legalize the cultivation and manufacturing of hemp nationwide.
Currently, the United States hemp industry is mostly fueled by imported hemp products that are grown in foreign countries. This is because U.S. grown hemp remains federally illegal despite the fact that 27 states have already passed their own hemp legislation. Interstate commerce of state-grown hemp also remains illegal (not the case for imported hemp), so even though industrial hemp is already being grown in 9 states the potential of the U.S. hemp industry will be severely hampered until the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015, or a similar bill, is passed. The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 already has legs with over 60 co-sponsors between the House and Senate versions, so we need to take advantage of the current momentum and get this bill passed!
With the passing of this bill, companies in the United States wouldn’t need to depend on foreign sources of hemp, and states that are growing hemp would have the ability to trade at the interstate level. With the passing of this bill, U.S. farmers (and the economy as a whole) would have a chance to thrive again by utilizing what’s widely considered the most versatile plant in the world!
If you would, please consider supporting Bluebird Botanicals and the National Hemp Association in our efforts to reestablish hemp as a major crop and industry in the United States. Click here to learn more or to donate to our Federal Hemp Campaign, a grassroots and multi-pronged campaign solely geared towards passing the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015. Bear in mind the campaign page was only launched last week, and that much more information about the many approaches being taken will be elaborated on in the weeks to come. And please share, share, and share if you support what we are trying to do!
*The National Hemp Association is the United States’ leading hemp related non-profit, driven by supporting the U.S. hemp industry in all of its many aspects.
Brandon Beatty – Founder of Bluebird Botanicals
List of Co-Sponsors for the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015
* = Original Co-Sponsor
S.134 Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 (Senate version)
Sen. Merkley, Jeff [D-OR]*, Sen. McConnell, Mitch [R-KY]*, Sen. Paul, Rand [R-KY]*, Sen. Gardner, Cory [R-CO], Sen. Daines, Steve [R-MT], Sen. Franken, Al [D-MN], Sen. Bennet, Michael F. [D-CO], Sen. Tester, Jon [D-MT], Sen. Tester, Jon [D-MT], Sen. Baldwin, Tammy [D-WI], Sen. Sanders, Bernard [I-VT], Sen. Schatz, Brian [D-HI], Sen. Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [D-NY], Sen. Murphy, Christopher S. [D-CT], Sen. Hirono, Mazie K. [D-HI]
H.R.525 Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 (House version)
Rep. Polis, Jared [D-CO-2]*, Rep. Hanna, Richard L. [R-NY-22]*, Rep. Blumenauer, Earl [D-OR-3]*, Rep. Schrader, Kurt [D-OR-5]*, Rep. Rohrabacher, Dana [R-CA-48]*, Rep. Bonamici, Suzanne [D-OR-1]*, Rep. Amash, Justin [R-MI-3]*, Rep. Cohen, Steve [D-TN-9]*, Rep. DeFazio, Peter A. [D-OR-4]*, Rep. DeGette, Diana [D-CO-1]*, Rep. DelBene, Suzan K. [D-WA-1]*, Rep. Ellison, Keith [D-MN-5]*, Rep. Farr, Sam [D-CA-20]*, Rep. Gabbard, Tulsi [D-HI-2]*, Rep. Norton, Eleanor Holmes [D-DC-At Large]*, Rep. Honda, Michael M. [D-CA-17]*, Rep. Clay, Wm. Lacy [D-MO-1]*, Rep. Lee, Barbara [D-CA-13]*, Rep. McClintock, Tom [R-CA-4]*, Rep. McCollum, Betty [D-MN-4]*, Rep. O’Rourke, Beto [D-TX-16]*, Rep. Peterson, Collin C. [D-MN-7]*, Rep. Pingree, Chellie [D-ME-1]*, Rep. Pocan, Mark [D-WI-2]*, Rep. Cartwright, Matt [D-PA-17]*, Rep. Schakowsky, Janice D. [D-IL-9]*, Rep. Ryan, Tim [D-OH-13]*, Rep. Yarmuth, John A. [D-KY-3]*, Rep. DeLauro, Rosa L. [D-CT-3]*, Rep. Welch, Peter [D-VT-At Large]*, Rep. Buck, Ken [R-CO-4]*, Rep. Labrador, Raul R. [R-ID-1]*, Rep. Cramer, Kevin [R-ND-At Large]*, Rep. Grijalva, Raul M. [D-AZ-3]*, Rep. Barr, Andy [R-KY-6]*, Rep. Zinke, Ryan K. [R-MT-At Large]*, Rep. Young, Don [R-AK-At Large]*, Rep. Walz, Timothy J. [D-MN-1]*, Rep. Young, Todd C. [R-IN-9]*, Rep. Stivers, Steve [R-OH-15]*, Rep. Nadler, Jerrold [D-NY-10]*, Rep. McDermott, Jim [D-WA-7]*, Rep. Lofgren, Zoe [D-CA-19]*, Rep. Perry, Scott [R-PA-4]*, Rep. Yoho, Ted S. [R-FL-3]*, Rep. Mulvaney, Mick [R-SC-5]*, Rep. Jones, Walter B., Jr. [R-NC-3]*, Rep. Titus, Dina [D-NV-1], Rep. Huffman, Jared [D-CA-2], Rep. Swalwell, Eric [D-CA-15], Rep. Sanford, Mark [R-SC-1], Rep. Whitfield, Ed [R-KY-1], Rep. Benishek, Dan [R-MI-1], Rep. Connolly, Gerald E. [D-VA-11], Rep. Perlmutter, Ed [D-CO-7], Rep. Speier, Jackie [D-CA-14], Rep. Walden, Greg [R-OR-2], Rep. Courtney, Joe [D-CT-2], Rep. Lowey, Nita M. [D-NY-17], Rep. Coffman, Mike [R-CO-6], Rep. Ellmers, Renee L. [R-NC-2], Rep. Tipton, Scott R. [R-CO-3], Rep. Davis, Rodney [R-IL-13], Rep. Hurt, Robert [R-VA-5], Rep. Scott, Robert C. “Bobby” [D-VA-3], Rep. Takai, Mark [D-HI-1], Rep. Cardenas, Tony [D-CA-29], Rep. Tonko, Paul [D-NY-20], Rep. Nolan, Richard M. [D-MN-8], Rep. Van Hollen, Chris [D-MD-8], Rep. Young, David [R-IA-3], Rep. DeSaulnier, Mark [D-CA-11], Rep. Gibson, Christopher P. [R-NY-19]
Summary of Bill
Congress.gov’s summary: “Amends the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of “marihuana.” Defines “industrial hemp” to mean the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-nine tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. Deems Cannabis sativa L. to meet that concentration limit if a person grows or processes it for purposes of making industrial hemp in accordance with state law.”
*Imported industrial hemp products are excluded from the CSA.
Text of Bill– Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015
To amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial
hemp from the definition of marihuana, and for other purposes.
1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-
2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
3 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
4 This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Industrial Hemp
5 Farming Act of 2015’’.
6 SEC. 2. EXCLUSION OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP FROM DEFINI7
TION OF MARIHUANA.
8 Section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21
9 U.S.C. 802) is amended—
2 OLL15037 S.L.C.
1 (1) in paragraph (16)—
2 (A) by striking ‘‘(16) The’’ and inserting
3 ‘‘(16)(A) The’’; and
4 (B) by adding at the end the following:
5 ‘‘(B) The term ‘marihuana’ does not include
6 industrial hemp.’’; and
7 (2) by adding at the end the following:
8 ‘‘(57) The term ‘industrial hemp’ means the
9 plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant,
10 whether growing or not, with a delta-9
11 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than
12 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.’’.
13 SEC. 3. INDUSTRIAL HEMP DETERMINATION BY STATES.
14 Section 201 of the Controlled Substances Act (21
15 U.S.C. 811) is amended by adding at the end the fol-
17 ‘‘(i) INDUSTRIAL HEMP DETERMINATION.—If a per-
18 son grows or processes Cannabis sativa L. for purposes
19 of making industrial hemp in accordance with State law,
20 the Cannabis sativa L. shall be deemed to meet the con-
21 centration limitation under section 102(57), unless the At-
22 torney General determines that the State law is not rea-
23 sonably calculated to comply with section 102(57).’’.