LAS VEGAS, NV – As hemp legalization continues to make major inroads in the industrial hemp industry across America, Hemp, Inc. is pleased to report that Rhode Island’s legislature has passed a bill to “legalize the production and processing of industrial hemp for commercial purposes in the state.” According to the Rhode Island General Assembly, HB 8232, which may also be cited as Rhode Island’s “Hemp Growth Act”, would take effect on January 1, 2017 and would permit the growth of hemp by properly licensed individuals that have applied and met the requirements and would also allow higher educational institutions to grow hemp for educational and research purposes pending approval from the Department of Health.
In an article posted by The Tenth Amendment Center, the bill was initially introduced on May 19, 2016 as legislation that “would have allowed state-licensed representatives of the Narragansett Indian Tribe to produce, possess, distribute, and commercially trade industrial hemp. In a rapid series of events, the bill was amended in the House Committee of Health Education and Welfare to apply to everybody. On June 17, the House passed the amended bill 71-0. The Senate concurred the next day by a 26-7 margin.”
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo will either sign or veto the bill. As with North Carolina, if she doesn’t act, the bill will become law without her signature. Many believe this law is yet another stepping stone in nullifying federal prohibition of hemp.
Bruce Perlowin, CEO of Hemp, Inc., said, “Yesterday, it was New York. Today, it’s Rhode Island. This shows the hemp revolution is unstoppable and relentless. More and more states are realizing how important hemp is to the American culture with its amazing economic benefits as demand for hemp in the marketplace continue to grow by leaps and bounds.”
The Hemp Grow Act would prohibit Rhode Island’s Business Regulation department from adopting any rules prohibiting a person or entity from growing or distributing hemp based on the legal status of hemp under federal law. While specific language in the bill acknowledges federal prohibition on hemp, the language also asserts that the state can legally dictate its own policy notwithstanding federal law.
Hemp, Inc.’s press release yesterday reported on New York’s passage of Bill (A9310/S6960). This bill would allow for the “transportation, processing, sale, and distribution of industrial hemp” as part of the State’s research pilot program.
The first half of 2016 has been amazing:
- In January, with a unanimous approval in both chambers of legislature, Nevada made it legal to cultivate hemp under current federal guidelines.
- Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill to authorize the farming and production of industrial hemp in the state for commercial purposes with a 98-0 vote.
- Kansas‘ Senate Bill 147 would legalize hemp oil for treating seizure disorders.
- In Maine, a new law authorizes individuals and businesses to engage in the farming, production, and commerce of hemp in Maine.
- In February, South Dakota House of Representatives approved a bill that would allow the cultivation of industrial hemp in the state of South Dakota.
- In March, Hawaii passed a bill “that would allow the state Department of Agriculture to create pilot research programs for industrial hemp are moving through both chambers of the state Legislature.”
- In Oregon’s 2016 legislative session, lawmakers passed agriculture-related bills which included allowing growers to cultivate hemp in greenhouses and “propagate it from cuttings under House Bill 4060, which eliminates the requirement that the crop be directly seeded in fields of at least 2.5 acres.”
- In Washington, state legislature also passed a bill that would allow licensed growers to produce industrial hemp in Washington as part of a research program.
- Pennsylvania Senate voted 49-0, a unanimous vote, in favor of industrial hemp to provide for an industrial hemp cultivation pilot program in the Commonwealth through the establishment of an Industrial Hemp Licensing Board within Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture.
- In April, Missouri’s House of Representatives passed industrial hemp bill HB 2038 which is set to legalize and regulate the cultivation of industrial hemp in the state of Missouri.
- Alabama House and Senate passed an industrial hemp bill that would authorize the Department of Agriculture and Industries to administer an industrial hemp research program.
- Louisiana’s House Agriculture Committee approved two bills to the House floor, HB1085 and HB1099 which authorizes institutions of higher education to develop a pilot program to study the growth, cultivation or marketing of industrial hemp for agricultural or academic research.
Hemp, Inc. also reached a few milestones. The company had announced its first Kenaf harvest from its wholly owned subsidiary, Industrial Hemp Manufacturing, LLC, in Spring Hope, North Carolina. One hundred fifty acres of Kenaf were cut, raked, baled and transported to Hemp, Inc.’s 70,000 square foot industrial hemp processing facility where it was weighed, stored and paid for. It went from seed, to harvest, to paying the farmers. With the company’s 150-acre Kenaf crop, it was able to inject revenue into the local farming community.
Hemp, Inc.’s 70,000 square foot multipurpose industrial hemp processing plant is in its final stages of completion. Spread over 9 acres, the processing facility makes up the central spoke of our North Carolina Hemp Hub. To see video footage of America’s largest commercial hemp processing facility click here.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL HEMP ASSOCIATION
The National Hemp Association is a Colorado-based 501(c)6 trade association that supports the growth and development of all aspects of the emerging industrial hemp industry. NHA members include hemp farmers, processors, manufacturers, researchers, policy makers, elected and appointed officials, investors, and citizens who are in favor of the re-birth of industrial hemp as a major U.S. cash crop and sustainable agricultural commodity. Industrial hemp can provide significant jobs for farmers and small businesses and stimulate economic development for every state in the U.S.
ABOUT HEMP, INC.
Hemp, Inc. seeks to benefit many constituencies from a “Cultural Creative” perspective, thereby not exploiting or endangering any group. CEO of Hemp, Inc., Bruce Perlowin, is positioning the company as a leader in the industrial hemp industry, with a social and environmental mission at its core. Thus, the publicly traded company believes in “up streaming” a portion of its profits back to its originator, in which some cases will one day be the American small farmer — cultivating natural, sustainable products as an interwoven piece of nature. By Hemp, Inc. focusing on comprehensive investment results — that is, with respect to performance along the interrelated dimensions of people, planet, and profits — the triple bottom line approach can be an important tool to support its sustainability goal.
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