Man Aims To Become Licensed Hemp Farmer

Man Aims To Become Licensed Hemp Farmer
Posted by CN Staff on January 15, 2007 at 06:50:28 PT
By Dale Wetzel, Associated Press Writer 
Source: Associated Press
Bismarck, N.D. - David Monson began pushing the idea of growing industrial hemp in the United States a decade ago. Now his goal may be within reach — but first he needs to be fingerprinted. Monson plans this week to apply to become the nation's first licensed industrial hemp farmer. He will have to provide two sets of fingerprints and proof that he's not a criminal.
The farmer, school superintendent and state legislator would like to start by growing 10 acres of the crop, and he spent part of his weekend staking out the field he wants to use."I'm starting to see that we maybe have a chance," Monson said. "For a while, it was getting really depressing."Last month, the state Agriculture Department finished its work on rules farmers may use to grow industrial hemp, a cousin of marijuana that does not have the drug's hallucinogenic properties. The sturdy, fibrous plant is used to make an assortment of products, ranging from paper, rope and lotions to car panels, carpet backing and animal bedding.Applicants must provide latitude and longitude coordinates for their proposed hemp fields, furnish fingerprints and pay at least $202 in fees, including $37 to cover the cost of criminal record checks.Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson said the federal Drug Enforcement Administration still must give its permission before Monson, or anyone else, may grow industrial hemp."That is going to be a major hurdle," Johnson said.Another impediment is the DEA's annual registration fee of $2,293, which is nonrefundable even if the agency does not grant permission to grow industrial hemp. Processing the paperwork for Monson's license should take about a month, Johnson said.A DEA spokesman has said North Dakota applications to grow industrial hemp will be reviewed, and Johnson said North Dakota's rules were developed with the agency's concerns in mind. Law enforcement officials fear industrial hemp can shield illicit marijuana, although hemp supporters say the concern is unfounded.North Dakota is one of seven states that have authorized industrial hemp farming. The others are Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana and West Virginia, according to Vote Hemp, an industrial hemp advocacy organization based in Bedford, Mass.California lawmakers approved legislation last year that set out rules for industrial hemp production, but Gov.    Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed it. The law asserted that the federal government lacked authority to regulate industrial hemp as a drug.In 2005, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (news, bio, voting record), R-Texas, introduced legislation to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana in federal drug laws. It never came to a vote.Monson farms near Osnabrock, a Cavalier County community in North Dakota's northeastern corner. He is the assistant Republican majority leader in the North Dakota House and is the school superintendent in Edinburg, which has about 140 students in grades kindergarten through 12.In 1997, during his second session in the Legislature, Monson successfully pushed a bill to require North Dakota State University to study industrial hemp as an alternative crop for the state's farmers.Canada made it legal for farmers to grow the crop in March 1998. Last year, Canadian farmers planted 48,060 acres of hemp, government statistics say. Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the provinces along North Dakota's northern border, were Canada's biggest hemp producers."I do know that industrial hemp grows really well 20 miles north of me," Monson said. "I don't see any reason why that wouldn't be a major crop for me, if this could go through."Newshawk: Sinsemilla JonesSource: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Dale Wetzel, Associated Press Writer Published:  January 15, 2007 Copyright: 2007 Associated Press Related Articles & Web Site:Vote Hemp: State Asks DEA To Waive Registration Fees To Begin Taking Applications for Hemp Rules Take Step Forward 
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on January 21, 2007 at 16:46:43 PT
Runruff...home in late summer.
What an excruciatingly beautiful day that will be.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on January 15, 2007 at 11:36:32 PT
Thank you. I want the two of you to be back together soon. Both of you are always in my heart. 
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Comment #4 posted by runruffswife on January 15, 2007 at 11:05:31 PT
runruff - word from the Inside
Hi Friends,
Jerry called from prison yesterday and wanted to thank you for keeping in touch with him via mail. He appreciates the letters. He's doing fine. Getting through it gracefully. Word is he'll be home by late summer. Yay!
Love to you all. Linda
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Comment #3 posted by user123 on January 15, 2007 at 09:20:58 PT:
Double Standards
So, do tobacco and grape growers have to prove they're not criminals & provide fingerprints? And I guess one day maybe I'll come across some of that " hallucinogenic" marijuana they sometimes talk about.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on January 15, 2007 at 08:07:45 PT
Weeds Nominated for Golden Globe Awards
WEEDSBest Television Series-Musical or Comedy Mary-Louise Parker: Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series-Musical or Comedy Elizabeth Perkins: Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Justin Kirk: Best Supporting Actor in a series, Mini-Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS® WEEDSOutstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Mary-Louise Parker: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on January 15, 2007 at 07:07:30 PT
Too Late To Barr The Door
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