House Approves Amendment to Allow Hemp Cultivation for Research

UPDATE: For unrelated reasons, the final House version of the FARRM bill was voted down this afternoon, we’ll keep you updated as this situation evolves.

This morning, the United States House of Representatives approved an amendment to H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 (The FARRM Bill), that will allow for the cultivation of hemp for academic research at universities and colleges. This would only apply to states that have already passed legislation allowing for industrial hemp production.

The amendment, sponsored by Representatives Polis (D-CO), Blumenauer (D-OR) and Tom Massie (R-KY), was approved by a 225-200 vote, with over 60 Republicans supporting it.

“Industrial hemp is an important agricultural commodity, not a drug,” said Rep. Polis. “My bipartisan, common-sense amendment, which I’ve introduced with Representatives Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), would allow colleges and universities to grow and cultivate industrial hemp for academic and agricultural research purposes in states where industrial hemp growth and cultivation is already legal. Many states, including Colorado, have demonstrated that they are fully capable of regulating industrial hemp. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp. The first American flag was made of hemp. And today, U.S. retailers sell over $300 million worth of goods containing hemp—but all of that hemp is imported, since farmers can’t grow it here. The federal government should clarify that states should have the ability to regulate academic and agriculture research of industrial hemp without fear of federal interference. Hemp is not marijuana, and at the very least, we should allow our universities—the greatest in the world—to research the potential benefits and downsides of this important agricultural commodity.”

The House and the Senate must now conference to reconcile differences between the two versions of the bill. Please take a moment of your time to call your Senators and urge them to support this important amendment and keep it in the final version of the legislation. You can click here to easily find the email and phone number for your Senators.

NORML will keep you updated as this proposal moves forward.

23 thoughts

  1. what is there to research about hemp that we dont allready know hemp has been used for thousands of years there is no health bennifits to it because cbd’s arnt in it there in the thc

  2. Who were the 200 freedom-hating congresspersons who were against this law? They need to be voted out from office and when vulnerable, targeted by a NORML PAC.

  3. I read on HP the the DEA was lobbying against this bill. They think crime will rise because people will steal the hemp plant to smoke. Also, they think the farmers will try to “hide” MJ plants within the fields. Check it out

  4. All smoke and mirrors,,if the bill passes the DEA will still be in charge of the permits,,and just allowing studies does not put hemp back on the open market,,so the corporations that paid to have hemp pulled off the market are still protected.

  5. I live in North Carolina where tobacco was king back in the day. Now tobacco farmers are not as common. What a boon to the economy of this state it would be if the defunct tobacco farmers were allowed to grow hemp. It could add billions to the state coffers and reduce the tax rate, which is ridiculously high. Not to mention putting out of work farmers back to work. To me it’s a win win situation.If only the government was full of people who have to live paycheck to paycheck instead of lawyers and such, then maybe things would change.

  6. I think it is about time. Hemp will be the savior of the US Economic issues. I believe.

  7. The Hemp Farming Act still stands awaiting a hearing in both the House and the Senate. Visit and take 5 minuted to send the pre-scripted letter to your Congressman.
    Out of darkness there must come the light.
    Prohibition is even predicted in the Bible: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter matters times, some shall… speak LIES and HYPOCRISY… commanding to abstain from meats.” –(“meats”: meaning “every herb bearing seed”-Genesis1:29-31) –“which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth (Paul:1, Timothy 4:1-3)

  8. The DEA’s attitude is downright counterproductive for them. Fields of spore generating hemp plants would devalue any outdoor marijuana gardens as far as the wind can blow the spores. Currently, we spend money to have police go pull up feral hemp plants from the ground.

    My favorite drug war image shows a helicopter with a ‘haystack’ of hemp plants dangling beneath it. The vibrations of the spinning helicopter rotors shake out the hemp seeds for miles around, assuring they’ll be even more plants to pull up next year.

    Your tax dollars at work. We don’t need sequester from the Feds. We need them to stop wasting money on archaic, counterproductive policies like marijuana prohibition.

  9. I pleased to see over 60 Repulicans voted for the amendment. This is real movement among the conservatives, who currently are the most ardent supporters of prohibition.

  10. This legislation does not cover the seed issue for me.

    It’s true that hemp is not marijuana, but the way that cherry tomatoes are not the same as big burger size tomato varieties. Genetically, they are different varieties of the same species, arguably because when a ruderalis, a hemp variety, is crossed with an Afghan, the hybrid can still reproduce and are not sterile like a mule (offspring of a male donkey and female horse). You have to select the hybrids with desirable heavy resin production and the autoflowering trait, backcross for stability, and that’s how they made Autoflowering Afghani and such. You can Google about autoflowering and check out the breeders’ banks online.

    I want two main things out of this legislation:

    #1 College and universities are allowed to grow any kind of cannabis, hemp and/or a combination of heavy resin varieties that has either medical or recreational value.
    (They will do the breeding of seed stock for the growing conditions in the geographic area for both farmers and retail seed customers such as individual patients or recreational consumers. There is no limit to the number of them allowed to conduct the research, and no excessive requirements.)

    #2 Viable seeds are legal again, as in trading, buying and selling of viable seeds.
    (They can turn up the shock value of the names of the varieties, or tone down the names like from TrainWreck to ChooChoo or whatever–rose is still a rose by any other name. Whatever.)

    So that brings me to the question of Colorado about seeds.

    I guess Washington is not going to allow the legal sale of seeds that recreational cannabis consumers would want to buy for personal use because the state government is going to control everything little thing. Legal seed trade in the U.S. with federal law that allows it means Internet and brick and mortar seed shops will be legal, at least in some states. It would be great for Colorado to allow such cannabis seed sales. Theoretically, since other seed companies outside the U.S. aren’t supposed to and often don’t ship to the U.S. it won’t put much of a dent in U.K., Dutch, Austrian, Spanish, Canadian, Israeli, Mongolian, whatever seed sales. They’ll need to set up shop in Colorado, I guess, to get in on the ground floor to establish their companies domestically.

    Anyway, that would be another nail in the coffin of cannabis prohibition. Definitely a plus when you can take a vacation there, buy some seeds to bring back, along with whatever is left of the small amount non-residents are allowed to purchase. That is if you want to take that chance. If seed companies online or in catalogs can send orders by mail then you could mail them. Once you’re at this point on the cannabis continuum it’s up to the local and state authorities to quit enforcing cannabis prohibition in order to jump on the cannabis money train.

  11. I agree and disagree with some of these posts.

    1. Yes, this is good as it helps to create a distinction between what the law currently defines as a drug or a textile. Although there are three distinct categories of cannabis… Ruderalis, Indica, and Satiiva….There are also many categories(back cross)of hemp depending on its produce(Seed,stalk, oil ect).

    2. Given the right for universities to study the plant from all academic areas, I hope there will be flexibility in the strains studied and not solely based on a THC upper limit. With that said I am interested to see how this plays out….since there are clearly strains with less than 1% THc and 16% CBD.

    Is this simply one more way to stall the progression of accurate and true research…with each university being able to compare findings and create advancements in medicine and quality of sustainable living.

    -It seems more apparent that the Ultimate Threat here is HEMP not Marijuana! The re-uniting of the American Farmers and Hemp as their chosen crop is a complete stall. History is unfolding backwards and Although this bill is making progress, the science of the plant will be milked dry, Big Pharma with their patents and Seed Monopolies in place will precede any advancements in a agricultural market that once was.

  12. Hemp has been said to be a trillion dollar crop. With the Sequester cuts and the huge debate about the deficit, I think the government should consider all avenues to create revenue.

  13. I am extremely pleased that the government has decided to grow hemp in the United States. According to reports over the internet, Hemp is a trillion dollar crop. When you think about the sequester cuts and all that the government is doing to reduce the deficit, all avenues of generating profit should be considered and I’m glad that hemp is now one of them.

  14. I was wandering if there was a way to create pot leaf pinnwheels for a commerative yard ítem also could the pot sede.pellet rifle be developed for u tube vídeo I havent the tech to do so an both would be Wonderful novilty items. Peace pot an ya know

  15. It’s pleasing to see industrial hemp progressing in the right direction. $300 million of imported hemp is absurd when the U.S. has the ability to cultivate enough to meet local demands.

  16. Nugs’ great grandaddies and grand mommies were schwag varieties! Grow hemp like founding fore father George Washington! It’s as American as apple pie. God bless the US.

  17. Visit and to see what is really at stake here. Hemp is coming back because corn failed us for ethanol. One more drought and big oil will have no other choice to find a suitable stabalizer for oil production to keep up with EPA standards. It’s big oil’s fault. They wanted to wear a green coat, but the coat got real expensive. Subsidies on corn don’t add up to a bowl of popcorn when:
    1) Using fossil fuels created a climate with more extreme drought
    2) Fracking is using up water in the midwest that serves to irrigate the “breadbasket of America. And:
    3) Hemp uses less water than corn.
    It’s that simple.
    A deliberate choice was made after Henry Ford rolled off his first Model-T hemp car made and fueled entirely of hemp. The choice from GM, Chrysler, and even Ford was to bow to pressure and calibrate our engines to corrosive crude oil/ gasoline models. With the simultaneous outlaw of renewable oil from hemp, the price of crude oil became a relatively stable, controlled commodity. Today, due to unstable crude oil and cellulose oil demand and supply, the production of hemp in U.S. farms will be an inevitable conclusion of our own demand.
    Because the U.S. has the suitable climate and available farmland to meet the growing demand for hemp no matter how much we import or prohibit. If we were to sum up the end of cannabis prohibition in three words, I’d say: biodegradable cellulose plastic.
    The whole world is about to change for the better, but only because we demand it.

  18. There shouldn’t be any restrictions on growing Hemp, or Marijuana. Take Marijuana Off the Schedule One Drug List and this Marijuana War will be over. Nice and painless.

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