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Legalizing Weed: Key Players in From Vermont's Legalization of Industrial Hemp Farming

By    |   Sunday, 22 Nov 2015 01:50 AM

After years of importing hemp from other countries, recently several states, including Vermont, have begun legalizing hemp farming for industrial and agricultural purposes.

Prior to this, the federal government's ban on the plant kept them from doing so. However, because so many types of goods can be made from the hemp plant, states wanted to reap the economic benefits of growing the plant here at home. In introducing bills legalizing hemp farming, lawmakers from all around the United States have emphasized the difference between hemp and marijuana, to which it's related, stressing that hemp is not a drug and should not be regulated the same way as marijuana.

Vermont is one of about a dozen states to legalize hemp farming, with the following people and organizations playing important roles in the change.

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1. House Agriculture Committee
It was this committee that wrote the final version of Senate Bill 157, also known as Act 84, which legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp in Vermont. The committee re-drafted the initial bill, making several changes that clarify the definition of hemp and establish guidelines for anyone wishing to grow it in the state.

2. Utah Gov. Peter Shumlin
Gov. Peter Shumlin signed SB157/Act 84 into law on June 10, 2013, as noted by the official bill posted on the Vermont's legislature's website.

3. Rep. Carolyn Partridge (D-Windham)
Rep. Carolyn Partridge, who is chair of the House Agriculture Committee in Vermont, supported HB157, saying while the plant was still illegal at the federal level, she hoped passing the bill indicated to the government that changes are needed. As quoted by the website Rural Vermont, Partridge said: "We've got to send a message. This is the kind of message I think will mean something to the federal delegation, and Sen. Leahy's committee has a hemp bill before them."

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4. Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
Anyone wanting to grow industrial hemp in Vermont must first register with the Secretary of Agriculture, Food & Markets, as noted on the agency's website. This is part of the oversight process to determine that individuals are growing the plant strictly for agricultural or commercial purposes and are using it to make goods that will be sold to consumers, rather than for the manufacture of drugs. Participants in the program must submit their personal information and pay a fee to obtain permission.

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After years of importing hemp from other countries, recently several states, including Vermont, have begun legalizing hemp farming for industrial and agricultural purposes.
legalizing weed, key players, Vermont, industrial hemp
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2015-50-22
Sunday, 22 Nov 2015 01:50 AM
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