North Dakota: Hemp Haven?

North Dakota: Hemp Haven?
Posted by FoM on July 01, 1999 at 16:59:00 PT
Source: E/The Environmental Magazine 
Last April, Governor Ed Schafer signed House Bill 1428, making North Dakota the first state in the nation to legalize the production of industrial hemp, which can be used to make clothing, paper, food products and even beer.
Yet despite the best intentions of the state legislature, legal production of hemp is still a long way off. While hemp has many beneficial uses (see "Rethinking Hemp," Consumer News, July/August 1996), federal law still prohibits its cultivation because of the familial connection to marijuana. "That's the hitch," says North Dakota's Agriculture Policy Director Clare Carlson. "As long as it's against federal law, the legislation cannot take effect."According to John Leppert of the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, "In Canada, one acre of hemp is worth $275, while an acre of U.S. wheat is worth less than $3." David Monson, the House sponsor of the bill, says, "This legislation was basically designed to encourage the feds to back off and let us produce hemp like our friends in Canada." To date, Hawaii, Minnesota and Virginia have introduced similar bills.CONTACT:Governor's Office600 East Boulevard AvenueDepartment 101Bismarck, ND 58505Tel. (701) 328-2200--Fran RyanThe Environmental Magazine:
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