Hopes for hemp rising with new Farm Bill

David Monson and Wayne Hauge remain cautiously optimistic about the prospects of a hemp crop in North Dakota in the near future — but it’s North Dakota State University that will likely be first to seed, with a provision in the 357-page Farm Bill that opens the door to¬† state-licenced university research plots, which North Dakota law already provides for.

SEC. 7606. LEGITIMACY OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP RESEARCH.
(a) In General.–Notwithstanding the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (20 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.), chapter 81 of title 41, United States Code, or any other Federal law, an institution of higher education (as defined in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001)) or a State department of agriculture may grow or cultivate industrial hemp if–
(1) the industrial hemp is grown or cultivated for purposes of research conducted under an agricultural pilot program or other agricultural or academic research; and
(2) the growing or cultivating of industrial hemp is allowed under the laws of the State in which such institution of higher education or State department of agriculture is located and such research occurs.
(b) Definitions.–In this section:
(1) Agricultural pilot program.–The term “agricultural pilot program” means a pilot program to study the growth, cultivation, or marketing of industrial hemp–
(A) in States that permit the growth or cultivation of industrial hemp under the laws of the State; and
(B) in a manner that–
(i) ensures that only institutions of higher education and State departments of agriculture are used to grow or cultivate industrial hemp;
(ii) requires that sites used for growing or cultivating industrial hemp in a State be certified by, and registered with, the State department of agriculture; and
(iii) authorizes State departments of agriculture to promulgate regulations to carry out the pilot program in the States in accordance with the purposes of this section.
(2) Industrial hemp.–The term “industrial hemp” means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.
(3) State department of agriculture.–The term “State department of agriculture” means the agency, commission, or department of a State government responsible for agriculture within the State.

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