OREGON: The U.S. House-passed farm bill contains a provision that could make industrial hemp farming legal after all.
While Rep. Earl Blumenauer and other Democrats blasted the bill’s final version, the Portland Democrat lauded the amendment that would allow colleges and universities to grow and cultivate industrial hemp for academic and agricultural research purposes.
“I’m disappointed by the Farm Bill as a whole, but glad to see these unnecessary restrictions on hemp were eased,” Blumenauer said. “Our fear of industrial hemp is misplaced. It is not a drug. By allowing colleges and universities to cultivate hemp for research, Congress sends a signal that we are ready to examine hemp in a different and more appropriate context.”
The House passed the Farm Bill by a 216-208 count last Thursday. Each of the 196 Democrats in the House voted against it.
The omnibus measure — it’s reauthorized every five years or so — aims to coax rural business development and provide better nutrition to poorer Americans. This year’s version calls for $1 trillion in various programs.