Thursday, April 9, 2009

The case for Hemp in Mass

There are approximately 230, 000 acres of idle tillable farm land, according to the latest USDA 2007 senses. If half of that land or, 100,000 acres were cultivated with industrial hemp and processed in State, the net benefits would be nothing short of amazing. Farmer income would increase and agricultural land would be back in production. The plant needs no pesticides and is sustainable, making it ideal for reducing overall pesticide use and conserving precious drinking water and avoiding run off pollutants in our rivers and streams. The crops yields for 2006 according to Health Canada were impressive and clearly show the 5 separate but equally profitable by parts of the plant after harvesting that are used now for the manufacturing of everything from food, to motor oil, paper, clothing, health care products, building materials, heating and co generation fuels and literally hundreds of products that would be completely recyclable.

When Massachusetts farmers are growing 100,000 acres of industrial hemp, they would produce approximately, 33,000 tons of grain, which after pressing would generate 2,000,000 gallons of oil, which would leave 24,000 tons of meal. That same 100,000 acres would produce 266,000 tons of home heating pellets and would yield 63,000 tons of fiber which is used to make paper, cardboard, building materials, textiles and bioplastics..
In food and health care production alone, the most nutritious and healthiest food supplies can be made from hemp, including hemp milk that can be produced at lower costs and has less environmental impact than dairy milk and can be stored without refrigeration and is healthier than milk from cows. We are now importing 657 million dollars worth of Hemp food and health care products from Canada to fill the desire among Americans for food and health care products made from hemp
The estimated value of the harvested oil is today far and away the most environmental useful bi product of the plant. Not only is this oil used in the food supply but can be used directly as diesel motor fuel. The environmental impact in growing hemp for oil is a fraction of any damage to the earth done by mining for oil in our seas and our lands. Hemp oil is also a feedstock for bio diesel and high grade fuel research and production, like jet fuel and ethanol.
In terms of home heating, using hemp pellets, made from the stalk, would help reduce our dependence on foreign oil and massive home heating price increases. Yields from 100,000 acres in terms of pellets would be enough to heat 53,000 homes in Massachusetts, cost less than wood pellets and be better for the environment, in terms of pollution. The same stalk material can be used as a feedstock for cellulosic bio fuels production, an additive to concrete, livestock bedding and hundreds more uses.

Perhaps the most sought after bi product of the plant is it’s fibers. Both long and short fibers are being used in all types of business across the globe today. Literally every wood product made today can be made of hemp fiber. Every clothing item in our closets can be made of hemp. All of our carpets, all of our cardboard and all of our paper needs can be made with hemp fiber, including all wood type building materials, with none of the toxins used today in manufacturing of wood pulp for the same purpose.

While Health Canada suggest the overall value to a farmer would be around $800.00 an acre. I submit the average would be closer to $1000.00 and if organically grown, the price would be around $1400.00 or more. The costs associated with growing hemp would be much lower than any other multi purpose biomass plant grown which would profit the farmers greatly. The cultivation of 100,000 acres of Hemp in Massachusetts would create 2000 jobs in farming, textiles, food processing, biodiesel and biofuels processing. It would also help reduce our carbon foot print considerably by heating homes with hemp pellets which would displace using 1.8 million barrels of crude oil to heat with, and be valued at an estimated 90 to 123 million dollars a year as a cash crop. And if 45 States grew 100,000 acres of hemp, for heating alone, the country will have not purchased 73.8 million barrels of crude oil and saved 3.7 billion dollars. Farming 100,000 acres of hemp in 45 States could represent a 17% reduction in President Obama’s plan to reduce oil imports by 20% . This country can ill afford the historically and proven uses of hemp and should let American farmers help grow our way back to energy and food self reliance.

Industrial Hemp Bill goes to Congress

Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009 (Introduced in House)

HR 1866 IH


111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1866
To amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marihuana, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 2, 2009
Mr. PAUL (for himself, Ms. BALDWIN, Mr. CLAY, Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts, Mr. GRIJALVA, Mr. HINCHEY, Mr. MCCLINTOCK, Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California, Mr. ROHRABACHER, Mr. STARK, and Ms. WOOLSEY) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


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A BILL
To amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marihuana, and for other purposes.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009'.

SEC. 2. EXCLUSION OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP FROM DEFINITION OF MARIHUANA.

Paragraph (16) of section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802(16)) is amended--

(1) by striking `(16)' at the beginning and inserting `(16)(A)'; and

(2) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

`(B) The term `marihuana' does not include industrial hemp. As used in the preceding sentence, the term `industrial hemp' means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not exceed 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.'.

SEC. 3. INDUSTRIAL HEMP DETERMINATION TO BE MADE BY STATES.

Section 201 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 811) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

`(i) Industrial Hemp Determination To Be Made by States- In any criminal action, civil action, or administrative proceeding, a State regulating the growing and processing of industrial hemp under State law shall have exclusive authority to determine whether any such plant meets the concentration limitation set forth in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (16) of section 102 and such determination shall be conclusive and binding.'.