State Awaits DEA Nod For Hemp Plan 

State Awaits DEA Nod For Hemp Plan 
Posted by FoM on October 01, 1999 at 07:49:38 PT
Agency would monitor production of crop
Source: Duluth News
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's efforts to allow farmers to grow industrial hemp are moving forward in a move that some say could give growers a viable alternative crop.
Gov. Jesse Ventura on Thursday contacted federal drug authorities outlining his plan to implement pro-hemp state legislation enacted last spring.Hemp is a close relative of marijuana, but is not strong enough to be used as a recreational drug.Ventura's plan calls for cooperation from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which has strongly opposed legalizing hemp production.Meanwhile, fierce debate continues over whether hemp offers enough commercial potential to justify the costly security controls likely to be imposed on its cultivation.Controls would be necessary because DEA officials and hemp enthusiasts agree on one thing: Food- and fiber-producing hemp and smokable marijuana are nearly indistinguishable varieties of the same Cannabis plant, differing only in their content of the psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).Ventura's letter proposes that farmers apply for permits through the state Board of Pharmacy and the DEA. Rules for commercial hemp cultivation would be set by the DEA.``The policy has not been changed,'' Tim McCormick, head of the DEA's Minneapolis office, said Wednesday. ``But we are seriously looking at it right now. The decision will be coming out of Washington.''October 1, 1999State Moving Toward Uncertain Future of Hemp - 9/29/99 Jesse Ventura's Web Site Drug Hawks Swoop Down on Birdseed - 9/30/99 Pains - E/The Environmental Magazine
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