AHPA: Let's grow hemp!

Association endorsed legislation that would amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marihuana.

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has endorsed industrial hemp legislation that has been introduced in the 113th Congress. The action came during AHPA's most recent board of trustees' meeting, held in Anaheim, Calif.

The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013 (HR 525 and S 359) would amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of "marihuana."

The bills define "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 and 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. The bill would give states the exclusive authority to regulate the growing and processing of industrial hemp under state law.

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky. introduced HR 525 on Feb. 6. The House version of the bill has attracted 35 cosponsors. On Feb. 14, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., introduced S 359, the Senate companion bill to HR 525, with Rand Paul, R-Ky., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., cosponsoring the proposed legislation.

This is the first time that legislation to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana has been introduced in the Senate.

"AHPA members who manufacture and market hemp products want to have the option of buying their ingredients from U.S. farmers, and this legislation will allow them to do so," said AHPA President Michael McGuffin. "Domestic cultivation could provide an important economic stimulus and source of revenue for American farmers, including small family farms."

AHPA formally endorsed similar legislation when now-retired Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, introduced it in the 112th Congress.


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