Nebraska Bill Would Nullify Federal Industrial Hemp Prohibition

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Nebraska recently joined the growing number of states considering legalizing the cultivation of industrial hemp.

Sen. Norman Wallman introduce LB1001 on Jan. 23. According to the bill description the legislation would “allow the planting, growing, harvesting, possession, processing, selling, and buying of industrial hemp as prescribed; to exempt industrial hemp from the Uniform Controlled Substances Act as prescribed; to provide powers and duties for the Department of Agriculture.”

Simply put, it would allow farmers to grow and industries to process industrial hemp within the borders of Nebraska. The bill also prescribes the licensing procedures for perspective growers.

If passed, the Nebraska act would nullify the federal prohibition on hemp production in the U.S.

Industrial hemp falls under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. It technically remains legal to grow in the U.S., but farmers must first obtain a permit from the DEA, a nearly impossible feat. When or even if Washington will free the industrial hemp market remains a huge question mark. A recent Department of Justice memo declaring it won’t challenge marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington perhaps cracked the door open for hemp production, but it remains unclear if the feds will take the same lenient position on the crop.

The proposed Nebraska law simply ignores the federal prohibition and opens the door to hemp cultivation in the Cornhusker State. It would allow the state to develop in intrastate market and poise it to lead the way if Washington opens up the interstate market.

Experts count as many as 25,000 uses for industrial hemp, including food, cosmetics, plastics and biofuel. The U.S. currently imports hemp products, primarily from China and Canada.

ACTION ITEMS

In Nebraska, take action today to help pass H.B. 3011. Click HERE.

Other states, take action in your state to push legislators to introduce and support bills to legalize hemp farming. Click HERE.

About the author

Michael Maharrey [send him email] is the Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center. He proudly resides in the original home of the Principles of ’98 – Kentucky. See his blog archive here and his article archive here. He is the author of the book, Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty/

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