We hereby petition the General Assembly and Governor Terry McAuliffe to pass legislation that licenses and regulates the production of Industrial Hemp as an industrial and agricultural commodity.
This petition had 1,366 supporters
WHEREAS, the industrial hemp industry has recently experienced a revitalization with worldwide hemp sales continuing to increase; and
WHEREAS, faltering agricultural economics in a number of states have created pressure to investigate alternative crops, including industrial hemp; and
WHEREAS, industrial hemp’s three raw materials – fiber, hurds and seeds, can be used in more than 25,000 products, including textiles, rope, cellulose plastics, resin, particle board, paper products, soaps and shampoo, bio diesel, vitamins and oil; and
WHEREAS, the histories of the United States and Virginia are replete with examples of the utility of and dependence on industrial hemp, which was legally cultivated in Virginia and many other states until the late 1930’s; and
WHEREAS, although industrial hemp is derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant, it is distinctive from its better known relative, marijuana, in that it contains less than one percent of the chemical responsible for its psychoactive properties; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia General Assembly in 1999 urged the federal government to revise the necessary regulations so as to permit the controlled experimental cultivation of industrial hemp in Virginia; and
WHEREAS, the National Farmers Union (NFU) has urged the President, the Attorney General, and Congress to direct the DEA to differentiate between industrial hemp and marijuana and adopt a policy to allow American farmers to grow industrial hemp under state law without requiring DEA licenses; and
WHEREAS, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture supports revisions of the federal rules and regulations authorizing commercial production of industrial hemp and has urged the DEA to develop and adopt an official definition of industrial hemp that comports with definitions currently used by countries producing industrial hemp; and
WHEREAS, the National Farmers Union made the official statement, “Urging the president, attorney general and Congress to direct the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to reclassify industrial hemp as a non-controlled substance and adopt policy to allow American farmers to grow industrial hemp under state law without affecting eligibility for USDA benefits.”
WHEREAS, the American Farm Bureau Federation made the official policy statement, “We support the declassification of industrial hemp as a controlled substance because of the opportunity that it provides some farmers to diversify their operations and share in a new market opportunity.”
WHEREAS, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013 (House Resolution 525 and Senate Bill 359) have been introduced in the 113th Congress with the intention of removing Industrial Hemp as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substance Act and allowing the State Legislatures to license and regulate the commercial production of hemp as an industrial and agricultural commodity; and
WHEREAS, the United States 113th Congress and President Barack Obama signed into law the Agriculture Act of 2014 which contains a provision for Universities and State Agriculture Departments in States that have legalized hemp farming to begin growing this useful crop for research purposes.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia, we hereby petition the General Assembly and Governor Terry McAuliffe to pass legislation that licenses and regulates the production of industrial hemp as an industrial and agricultural commodity which in turn will create jobs and will open a new market for farmers, businesses and entrepreneurs in the emerging and fast growing hemp industry.
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