Members of Congress Call on DEA to Support Industrial Hemp Industry

January 17, 2018, 3:00 PM HST
* Updated January 17, 2:18 PM
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A bipartisan coalition of 28 Members of Congress along with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard called on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to honor Congressional legislation supporting the industrial hemp industry.

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In an amicus brief filed on behalf of the Hemp Industries Association, the lawmakers asked the Court to recognize and uphold the Congressional intent of legislation that empowers states to grow, cultivate, and research industrial hemp under specific conditions. In addition, the lawmakers called on the Court to determine that the DEA’s final rule that opposes Congressional legislation was an abuse of administrative procedure and rulemaking authority.

“Our nation should empower our local farmers by allowing them to grow, cultivate and research industrial hemp that will create opportunity and strengthen our economy,” said Rep. Gabbard. “With demonstrated health, environmental, and economic benefits and a market value of roughly $620 million in the U.S. per year, the hemp industry will create jobs and investments necessary to compete in the 21st century economy. The DEA must honor and uphold the Congressional intent of federal legislation that allows states, like Hawai‘i, to establish programs to research the benefits, cultivation, and market of industrial hemp.”

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has long supported legislation to empower our local farmers through the cultivation of industrial hemp in Hawai‘i and nationwide, including cosponsoring H.R. 3530, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, which would reclassify hemp as an agricultural crop.

The congresswoman is also the lead Democratic co-sponsor of H.R.1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, which would take marijuana off the federal controlled substances list, as part of her commitment to common sense criminal justice reform.

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