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Texas Agriculture Commissioner Calls On Congress To Lift Federal Restrictions On Industrial Hemp Production (12/6/2018)

AUSTIN – Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller today called on Congress to lift the almost century-old federal ban on hemp production in the United States. The provision is included in the new 2018 Farm Bill before Congress. Hemp is the non-narcotic cousin of marijuana and the source of a sturdy fiber and CBD oil, a substance widely used for therapeutic purposes such as treating medical conditions like seizures.

“This is all about taking the shackles off the American farmer,” said Commissioner Miller. “It is time to finally end the ban on industrial hemp and free Texas farmers to produce this valuable commodity. In today’s economy, our farmers need maximum flexibility to diversify their production and thrive. When our farmers do well, they can provide for their families, grow our rural communities and ensure we have the food, clothing and medicine we all need.”

The push to end the ban on industrial hemp production has gained widespread support from Republicans and was added to the Republican Party of Texas platform earlier this year.

Hemp is a variety of the cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Grown in the U.S. since the time of George Washington, hemp is now seen as a potential cash crop with uses that include biofuels, medicine, construction and textiles. The fibrous plant was banned in 1937 and again in 1970 in an effort to curb access to marijuana. Possession and use of marijuana is still illegal under federal law and will not be affected by lifting restrictions on hemp production.

“Let’s be clear: This is not the backdoor to legalizing marijuana,” said Miller. “Hate to break it to the potheads, but marijuana is still illegal in Texas and under federal law. Ending the ban on hemp won’t change that. This is about giving farmers another opportunity to thrive.”

The long-awaited Farm Bill (S.3042 Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018) has been years in the making and is expected to be brought up for a vote in Congress sometime next week.

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For interviews of Commissioner, please contact:

Mark Dallas Loeffler
(512) 475-1669

or

Maddison Jaureguito

(512) 463-7899