The fight to legalize industrial hemp

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State senators gathered in support of a bi-partisan bill that would legalize the growth of industrial hemp in Pennsylvania.

"It will help domestic farming, it will help our economy and it will help our environment," said Republican Senator Mike Folmer.

Senators Folmer and Schwank showed their support for the bill during Saturday's opening of the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg.

"This is going to be a great thing for the state of Pennsylvania," Senator Folmer added.

Industrial hemp is often associated with Marijuana but it's quite different. Hemp is a diverse crop with many uses including paper, plastic, cement, wood and fiber. Hemp seed oil would treat epilepsy, migrane headaches, glaucoma and nerve pain.

"This is about education and I think once our colleagues see the win-win-win scenario here I believe that this should be a no brainer," said Senator Folmer.

Industrial hemp has been used throughout American history but was outlawed in the 1940's. Today, hemp is a $500 million dollar industry.

With 7.8 million acres of farmland, Senator Folmer says Pennsylvania is prime for hemp and vital for the future of farmers. "It's a win for Pennsylvania agriculture to allow our farmers to stay on their farm, be profitable, gives them another cash crop, it's a great cover crop," he added.

And with Pennsylvania's rich history in hemp farming -- farmers say it's about time they bring it back. Adam Thompson wants to take part in the Licensed Pilot Program on his family's 20 acres of land in Lycoming County.

"I have a relationship with a farmer that's willing and ready to grow hemp and then he also has the ability to take that hemp seed and mill it into hemp seed oil which will then be sold to local grocery stores," said Thompson.

That could be the reality if the bill passes. The state can then apply for a permit to grow the seed, for research purposes only.

At least 20 states have declared hemp farming legal but only three have licenses to grow the seed -- Colorado, Kentucky and Vermont.

8 comments

  • rudimentary

    Does the twine that is processed from hemp have velvety stalks and branches ?It might have to be harvested before September 29 th in some areas ,to have the effect. WHO KNOWS ANYMORE!!!

  • OneMan'sOpinion

    The designer of the Keystone Cannabis Coalition’s 5-leaf symbol must have smoked it while developing it. Two words go in one direction and three go in the other. It does not look good.

  • Amy

    We should definitely support the growth of industrial hemp! In addition too tje benefits listed above hemp oil is used to treat skin cancer and the hemp plant requires no pesticides as it grows as a weed, therefore not contaminating the soil with unwanted toxins.

  • Aqueed

    Ya’ll gotta spen my EBT taxes, yo. bes be high when yo ain gotta do no woik, yo. git su’ ‘Bama weed, yo.

    • OneMan'sOpinion

      “Ya’ll” is not part of the Ebonics language, and punctuation is not used in Ebonics. If you are going to type Ebonic, please do so correctly. We only accept perfection on this website.

  • hippiebutter

    We can’t wait for industrial hemp to be grown through-out the United States. This will make hemp products affordable to everyone and create 1000s of American jobs. Let all go vote when we have a chance and bring industrial hemp back to American farmers.

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