WASHINGTON, D.C. – Leading hemp industry advocates collaborated to urge Farm Bill conferees to finalize and pass the Farm Bill to modify and support a provision that would legalize hemp farming in the U.S.
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), Bluebird Botanicals, the Hemp Industry Association (HIA), the National Hemp Association (NHA), and Vote Hemp sent a letter to House and Senate Agriculture Committee chairs and ranking members to express appreciation for including the Hemp Farming Act in the Farm Bill and urge them to remove a provision that would make any person ever convicted of a felony relating to a controlled substance under State or Federal law ineligible to participate in hemp production or programs.
“We respectfully ask that the drug felony ban be completely removed,” the letter states. “The felony ban would only increase the risk of recidivism for people who are trying to find stable employment. People of color would also likely be disproportionately impacted by the felony ban, given the well documented racial disparities in drug law enforcement across the country.”
The letter expresses gratitude for Senator Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) leadership and perseverance in working to pass legislation to legalize hemp at the federal level and requests the Agriculture committee leaders to support the Farm Bill with the Hemp Farming Act provisions. The organizations also request a process be established for State and Tribal entities to develop and implement hemp production plans.
“We look forward to the day when federal law no longer stands in the way of the hemp industry realizing its full economic and job creation potential for the American people,” the letter states.
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is the national trade association and voice of the herbal products industry. AHPA is comprised of more than 350 companies and organizations doing business as growers, processors, manufacturers and marketers of herbs and herbal products as foods, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and non-prescription drugs, and providing expert services to the herbal trade. More at www.ahpa.org
Founded in 2012 by Brandon Beatty, Bluebird Botanicals' vision has always been driven by the deepest respect for the hemp plant and the plethora of benefits it can provide to our global communities. Bluebird quickly became known as the hemp company who cares and does things right. With an overarching focus on quality, the company has grown into one of the largest hemp extract manufacturers and retailers in the world. For more, visit www.bluebird-botanicals.com
The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) is a 501(c)(6) membership-based non-profit trade group working to advance the hemp economy and educate the market for the benefit of our members, the public, and the planet since 1994. More information about the HIA may be found at www.TheHIA.org
The National Hemp Association (NHA) is a non-profit corporation, based in Washington D.C. with more than 50,000 supporters and members, is dedicated to the development of the domestic hemp industry. This goal will be attained by coordinating legislation, agricultural organizations, farmers, processors, manufacturers, and retailers. The promotion of the hemp industry is congruent with the desire to improve the environment through production and utilization of hemp farming and products. We see a direct relationship between the products we use and stewardship of the land. www.nationalhempassociation.org
Vote Hemp is a national non-profit organization dedicated to changing state and federal law to once again allow U.S. farmers to grow hemp commercially. www.VoteHemp.com