North Dakota: Farmers’ Suit to Grow Hemp Dismissed by Courts — DEA Approves Hemp Research at North Dakota State

Bismarck, ND: Federal Judge Daniel Hovland dismissed a case brought by farmer Wayne Hauge and state representative David Monson that would have overturned the DEA’s ban on industrial hemp cultivation in the United States. Hovland wrote in his decision that the farmers, who are licensed by North Dakota to grow hemp, will have to seek redress in Congress should they desire to grow hemp legally under federal law.

Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp, an organization dedicated to legalizing the cultivation of industrial hemp, stated that they are disappointed with the decision, but would redouble efforts in Congress. “[We] will take this decision to Washington, DC to prompt action by Congress on HR 1009, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2007, which would clarify a state’s right to grow the crop.”

In the aftermath of the decision, North Dakota State University (NDSU) received a Memorandum of Agreement from the DEA that, if signed by the university, would allow hemp cultivation research there, according to Vote Hemp. NDSU, which had been attempting to obtain a license from the DEA to grow hemp for research for eight years, had filed an amicus brief in the case detailing their difficulties with the agency. “It seems our arguments about the DEA’s delay in processing NDSU’s application have resulted in the agency finally taking positive action to allow research,” said David Bronner, President of the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, a company that produces hemp-based goods.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500. Full text of Judge Hoyland’s decision is available at: http://www.votehemp.com/legal_cases_ND.html.