Iowa House Agriculture Panel hears advocates of industrial hemp production

Boris Shcharansky Industrial Hemp

Source: Iowa Business Tips

DES MOINES – Iowa Republicans report that on Tuesday, February 9, 2016, the Iowa House Agriculture Committee had a presentation about the economic potential for industrial hemp production for fiber, energy and food purposes. Indus- trial hemp is a hemp plant that does not contain measurable amounts of the chemical intoxicant found in illegal marijuana.

Prior to the mid-20th century it was widely grown in the United States for purposes of providing fiber for rope pro- duction that was essential to the naval operations in World War I and World War II. The demand for hemp derived rope was subsequently replaced by South Asian sourced products and synthetic materials after World War II ended. At the same time, starting around 1930, there was growing concern about illegal use of marijuana as an illegal intoxicant developed and it appeared that one of the ways to grow illegal products was to conceal in legitimate industrial hemp fields where it was difficult to detect. When other options to the use of hemp for rope production developed, the feder- al government made the growing of hemp illegal and it stayed illegal until the 2014 federal farm bill when a provision was enacted that remove federal re- strictions on the domestic cultivation of industrial hemp. Specifically, that bill re- moves hemp from the Schedule I con- trolled substance list under the Con- trolled Substances Act of 1970, and de- fines it as a non-drug so long as it con- tained less than 0.3 percent tetrahydro- cannabinol (THC).

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