Maryland House Passes Industrial Hemp Bill Through Second Reading

An industrial hemp bill that’s already been passed by Maryland’s Senate has been passed through its second reading in the House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 1201 was passed Friday through its second reading in the House. The vote comes a little over two weeks after it was passed unanimously (47 to 0) by the Senate.

The proposed law would establish “an Industrial Hemp Pilot Program to authorize and facilitate the research of industrial hemp and any aspect of growing, cultivating, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, transporting, marketing, or selling industrial hemp for agricultural, industrial, or commercial purposes”. It would require “the Department of Agriculture to certify and register a site that will be used to grow or cultivate industrial hemp; etc.”.

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Hemp Was Once Used as Currency in America

hemp currencyIn the United States, the cultivation of hemp is illegal. Hypocritically, this is despite the fact that Americans legally purchase hundreds of millions of dollars worth of hemp products; hemp cereals, lotions and clothing line the shelves of places like Wal-Mart and Costco. The ridiculousness becomes even thicker when you take into account the fact that hundreds of years ago, before modern science and research can tell us the benefits of hemp, our ancestors understood it.

In 1619, one of the first ever hemp laws was established in the then-named Virginia Assembly. The law required many colonists to grow hemp, fining those who didn’t. They did this because they felt it was so drastically important to the welfare of their society.

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Hemp Legislation Signed into Law by Maryland Governor

hemphemphempMaryland Governor Larry Gogan has signed into law legislation that allows academic institutions to cultivate hemp for research purposes.

House Bill 443 was passed unanimously by Maryland’s Senate as well as their House of Representatives. Unfortunately the bill doesn’t allow for the commercial cultivation of hemp, but advocates of the bill argue that allowing academic institutions to study it is the first step towards the state legalizing hemp for all farmers, given that the studies are sure to come back with positive results.

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