Hemp Cultivation in Vermont?
The situation in Vermont: For other articles see events page or answer 20.
A major effort is underway to push hemp legislation through various state governments.
From: GlobalHemp.com, Tuesday, May 30, 2000
Vermont Hemp Resolution passed by House
On Thursday May 11, The Vermont House joined the Senate in the passage of JRS098: "Urging U.S. DEA and U.S. Congress to reconsider Federal policies that restrict the cultivation and marketing of industrial hemp and related products."
The Resolution was submitted to the Senate Agricultural committee on March 29, by the Vermont Hemp Industries Association and sponsored by VT Senators Elizabeth Ready and Vincent Illuzzi. It will now be sent to the Vermont Congressional Delegation in Washington and entered into the Federal record along with copies issued to the DEA, USDA and to President Clinton. For a full reading of the Resolution log on at http://www.leg.state.vt.us/ follow links for JRS098 by clicking through the Legislative Bill Tracking System to the Resolutions Introduced Reports.
The Vermont Hemp Industries Association is the emerging coalition of businesses, farms, policy makers and citizens whose goal is to stimulate the public debate and invigorate the domestic hemp industry.
Introduced by Senator Ready of Addison County Referred to Committee
Subject: Agriculture; industrial hemp
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to permit the development in Vermont of an industrial hemp industry.
AN ACT RELATING TO INDUSTRIAL HEMP
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 6 V.S.A. chapter 38 is added to read:
CHAPTER 38. INDUSTRIAL HEMP
§ 690. PURPOSE
The purpose of this chapter is to permit the development in Vermont of an industrial hemp industry, and to assure that production of industrial hemp is in compliance with state and federal laws and United States' obligations under international treaties, conventions, and protocols.
§ 690a. DEFINITIONS
As used in this chapter:
(1) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of agriculture, food and markets.
(2) "USDEA" means the drug enforcement administration of the United States Department of Justice.
(3) "Grower" means any person or business entity licensed under this chapter by the commissioner as an industrial hemp grower.
(4) "Hemp products" means all products made from industrial hemp, including, but not limited to, cloth, cordage, fiber, food, fuel, paint, paper, particle board, plastics, seed, seed meal, and seed oil for consumption, and certified seed for cultivation if such seeds originate from industrial hemp varieties.
(5) "Industrial hemp" means all parts and varieties of the plant cannabis sativa, whether growing or not, that contain a tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of one percent or less by weight, and are cultivated or possessed by a licensed grower in compliance with this chapter.
(6) "Records" means all commercial documents related to the production of industrial hemp, including accounts, correspondence, declarations, purchase orders, registers, seed invoices, and tetrahydrocannabinol concentration analysis reports, including all documentation required under this chapter and by any other state law or by federal law regarding the growing and cultivation of industrial hemp.
(7) "Tetrahydrocannabinol" or "THC" means synthetic equivalents of the substances contained in the plant, or in the resinous extractives of cannabis, or synthetic substances, derivatives, and their isomers with similar chemical structure and pharmacological activity.
§ 690b. INDUSTRIAL HEMP: AN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCT
Industrial hemp is an agricultural product which may be grown, produced, possessed, and commercially traded in Vermont pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
§ 690c. LICENSING; APPLICATION
(a) Any person or business entity wishing to engage in the production of industrial hemp must be licensed as an industrial hemp grower, both by the commissioner and by the USDEA. A license from the commissioner shall authorize industrial hemp production only at a site or sites as specified by the license.
(b) A license from the commissioner shall be valid for 24 months and may be renewed, but shall not be transferable. An application for a license shall be filed with the commissioner by January 1, and a license granted by the commissioner shall be issued by February 1 of the same calendar year.
(c) To qualify for a license from the commissioner, an applicant shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the commissioner, in a manner prescribed by the commissioner, that the applicant intends to and is capable of growing industrial hemp, and has adopted methods to ensure its safe production, which at a minimum shall include:
(1) Furnishing the commissioner with evidence of a license from the USDEA to grow industrial hemp in the state of Vermont, and with an affirmation that the grower is now and will continue to be in compliance with all federal and state law regulating the planting and cultivation of hemp.
(2) Furnishing the commissioner with a guaranteed irrevocable letter of credit or a surety bond executed by a surety company authorized to transact business in this state, in the sum of not less than $2,000.00, obtained for the sole benefit of any person suffering loss or damage from violations of this chapter, or of the state of Vermont to cover the cost of destroying any industrial hemp crop not in compliance with this chapter.
(3) Securing the supply of all industrial hemp seed obtained for planting in compliance with this chapter.
(4) Ensuring the integrity of the industrial hemp crop while it is in the field, which shall include filing with the commissioner the location and acreage of all parcels sown and other field reference information as may be required by the commissioner.
(5) Ensuring that all parts of the industrial hemp plant not entering the stream of commerce as hemp products, such as flowers and leaves, are destroyed or recycled at the place of production.
(6) Agreeing to the provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of section 690e of this title regarding inspections by the commissioner.
(7) Maintaining records that reflect compliance with the provisions of this chapter and with all other state and federal law regulating the planting and cultivation of hemp.
(d) Every grower shall maintain all production records for at least three years at the production site.
§ 690d. SEED; IMPORTATION
(a) The commissioner shall be the sole source and supplier of seed for use in industrial hemp production in the state. The commissioner shall by rule adopt measures to secure all hemp seed under the control of the commissioner, and to ensure that all hemp seed supplied to and used by growers is of only those varieties which meet the THC limitations of this chapter.
(b) A grower shall use hemp seed obtained exclusively from the commissioner.
(c) The commissioner shall for the purpose of this section seek licensure by the USDEA as an importer of industrial hemp seed.
§ 690e. ADMINISTRATION; INSPECTION; RULES
(a) The commissioner shall administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter.
(b) The commissioner is authorized to investigate compliance with this chapter, and shall have access, subject to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, to all land, buildings, or places where industrial hemp is grown, kept, stored, or handled, and to all records relating to hemp production. The commissioner may take samples of up to one-tenth of one percent of the industrial hemp crop of a grower, to test the crop's THC content to ensure compliance with this chapter and to provide a basis for sanctions or suspension of a grower out of compliance. The commissioner may make copies of any records.
(c) The commissioner shall have access to the properties and records specified in subsection (b) of this section during regular business hours upon the consent of the grower, or when the commissioner has substantial justification to believe that any grower who is licensed under this chapter is otherwise in violation of this chapter or rules adopted under it.
(d) The commissioner shall adopt rules to implement this chapter.
§ 690f. REVOCATION AND SUSPENSION OF LICENSE;
(a) The commissioner may deny, suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew the license of any grower that:
(1) Makes a false statement or misrepresentation on an application for a license or renewal of a license.
(2) Fails to comply with or violates any provision of this chapter or any rule adopted under it.
(3) Fails to take any action required by the commissioner under the provisions of this chapter.
(b) Revocation or suspension of a license may be in addition to any criminal penalties or fines imposed on a grower under other state law or federal law.
§ 690g. FEE; COST OF SEED; SPECIAL FUND
(a) A fee shall be charged by the commissioner for each license granted to a grower under this chapter. The fee amount charged for the first growing season shall be $10.00 per acre of land under cultivation. After the first growing season, the commissioner shall recommend a fee amount to the general assembly for its approval, to be used beginning with the growing season following the first growing season. All fee revenue shall be deposited in the special program fund established by subsection (c) of this section.
(b) The commissioner shall by rule establish hemp seed prices to be charged growers under provisions of section 690d of this title. All proceeds of seed sales shall be deposited in the special program fund established by subsection (c) of this section.
(c) An industrial hemp special program fund is established in the office of the state treasurer, and shall be administered in accordance with subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32. All monies in the fund shall be used only to defray the cost of implementing this chapter.
§ 690h. RESEARCH; UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT
(a) The University of Vermont is authorized to undertake research of industrial hemp production in the state, after receiving a license to grow hemp both from the commissioner and from the USDEA. The commissioner may waive fee requirements. The commissioner shall oversee the university research, which shall be mutually agreed upon by the commissioner and the university, and which shall include:
(1) Industrial hemp test plots, to assess optimum Vermont soils and other growing conditions.
(2) Analysis of minimum THC levels obtainable in industrial hemp production.
(3) Analysis of market economic conditions affecting the development of an industrial hemp industry in the state of Vermont.
(b) The commissioner and the university shall cooperatively seek funds from both public and private sources to implement this section.
(c) By January 15, 2000 and annually thereafter, the university shall report on the status of research authorized by this section, including progress in securing funding for it, to the house and senate committees on agriculture.
§ 690i. STATE-FEDERAL MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
The commissioner is authorized to collaborate with the USDEA on the development of a memorandum of understanding between the Vermont department of agriculture, food and markets and the USDEA regarding the implementation of this act. One objective of the memorandum of understanding which the commissioner shall seek to achieve is an expeditious process for obtaining federal licensing of individual hemp growers, of the commissioner as an importer of hemp seed, and of the University of Vermont as a hemp producer for research purposes.
§ 690j. REPORT
The commissioner shall by January 15 of each year report to the house and senate committees on agriculture on implementation of this chapter and on the commercialization of industrial hemp in this state and elsewhere in the world, and recommend any changes to this chapter deemed appropriate.
Sec. 2. EFFECTIVE DATE This act shall take effect on passage. i.e. as of May 30th 2000.
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By Senators Ready and Illuzzi,
J.R.S. 98. Joint resolution urging the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Congress to reconsider federal polices that restrict the cultivation and marketing of industrial hemp and related products.
Whereas, a variety of farming activities are all significant components of Vermont's agricultural economy, and despite Vermonters' dedicated efforts, many of the agricultural endeavors that have traditionally provided the economic sustenance for our state are no longer as financially rewarding as in years past, and
Whereas, a potentially profitable new source for agricultural development is the planting and harvesting of industrial hemp (cannabis sativa L. with a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of less than 1%), which has a multitude of commercial uses including food for animal and human consumption, textile fiber, building materials and composites, fuel and industrial lubricants, paper and other fiber products, and
Whereas, in 1996, the Vermont General Assembly enacted Act No. 176, which directed the University of Vermont to investigate the viability of industrial hemp, and the study found probable economic benefits from a Vermont hemp industry, and
Whereas, a 1996 statistically representative survey of the Vermont population found that 77% of Vermonters support changing the laws so that farmers can grow industrial hemp in Vermont, and
Whereas, a 1999 University of Kentucky report and current trade data from Canada further support the economic viability of industrial hemp as an alternative crop and sustainable resource for numerous markets, and
Whereas, the stringent federal criteria established under 21 U.S.C. § 823 and its implementing regulation, 21 C.F.R. § 1301.71 and .72 present a nearly insurmountable barrier to the initiation of an industrial hemp crop in Vermont, and
Whereas, more than 30 countries, including Canada, currently permit the cultivation and production of low-THC industrial hemp, and
Whereas, in 1999 the legislatures of North Dakota, Minnesota and Hawaii passed legislation permitting farmers to grow industrial hemp, and on December l4, 1999, a test plot of low-THC cannabis was planted on Hawaiian soil, and
Whereas, The United States is the largest importer of foreign-grown hemp based materials and products in the world, and
Whereas, until federal barriers to the cultivation and production of industrial hemp are lifted, the State of Vermont is being deprived of taking part in this agriculturally based emerging international market, now therefore be it
RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
That the General Assembly recognizes the differentiation between industrial hemp and marijuana, industrial hemp being those plants of cannabis sativa L. that contain a THC concentration of one percent or less by weight, and be it further
RESOLVED: That the General Assembly strongly urges DEA, the National Office of Drug Control Policy, and the USDA to collaboratively develop and adopt an official definition of industrial hemp, and recognize a one percent THC level, or less, as the standard for industrial hemp, and be it further
RESOLVED: That the General Assembly strongly urges Congress to amend U.S. Code sections 21 U.S.C. § 812 (10) and 21 U.S.C. § 841 to distinguish between marijuana and industrial hemp as they relate to production, possession, delivery, and intended use, and be it further
RESOLVED: That the General Assembly requests the DEA and the USDA to review the procedures under which their Canadian counterparts are authorized to sanction the commercial development of industrial hemp, and be it further
RESOLVED: That the General Assembly strongly urges Congress statutorily to direct the DEA to revise its policies to be less restrictive and to allow states to establish state regulatory programs that may be similar to the Canadian model, thus fostering the development of domestic hemp industries, and be it further
RESOLVED: That the General Assembly requests Congress to establish a comprehensive new hemp research program to update the scientific knowledge of industrial hemp, and to authorize a certified seed and germ plasma bank, and be it further
RESOLVED: That the General Assembly requests Congress to appropriate funds for a USDA line budget item dedicated to hemp related research and market development, and be it further
RESOLVED: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman, Acting U.S. Drug Enforcement Administrator Donnie R. Marshall, U.S. Senator Patrick J. Leahy, U.S. Senator James M. Jeffords, U.S. Representative Bernard Sanders, and to the President of the United States.
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ATTESTED TO: PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES David A. Gibson Secretary of the Senate
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*Industrial-Hemp has no psychoactive properties following definition of the European Economic Community (EEC); THC content is less than 0.3%. In general, low THC-seed varieties without psychoactive properties are those that have a THC content of less than 1%. (See also No-THC Hemp-seed.) THC= Delta-9 TetraHydroCannabinol.
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