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New Hampshire House Committee Passes Industrial Hemp Bill
by Ali Papademetriou
Sponsored by New Hampshire Representatives Garcia, Warden, and Jones, HB 153 passed the state’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee last week on a 17 to 2 margin. HB 153, or the New Hampshire Hemp Freedom Act, would “prohibit the delegation of industrial hemp as a controlled substance.”
Using hemp as an industrial product in New Hampshire would be deemed as legal if the bill were to pass, and would become effective sixty days after passing. The bill can’t be implemented into law though until the full state house as well as senate passes it. As the Tenth Amendment Center reported, the Controlled Substance Act had listed hemp, even if it’s used for industrial purposes, as a Schedule 1 drug in 1970. With that said, it is under federal law that growing hemp is against the law.
New Hampshire is not the only state to have recently introduced or passed hemp legislation. SLN reported two weeks ago on a measure that was passed by Kentucky’s Senate that will deem growing industrial hemp in Kentucky legal, if the state’s House displays a similar vote.
On a federal level, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and other senators from Kentucky and Oregon introduced a bill, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013, which would lift the federal ban on domestic cultivation of industrial hemp.
According to NORML’s website, “Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa L. that contains minimal (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. It is a tall, slender, fibrous plant similar to flax or kenaf. Various parts of the plant can be utilized in the making of textiles, paper, paints, clothing, plastics, cosmetics, foodstuffs, insulation, animal feed and other products.”
Hemp Industries Association lists facts about industrial hemp on its website, notably the fact that both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp during the Colonial era of the early Republic. Clearly, industrial hemp can be used in a variety of different ways. Considering hemp contains less than 1% of the active psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, it is a wonder that hemp would be registered as an illicit drug.
SLN will report on New Hampshire’s House ruling of the bill when results are available.