February 20, 2014

A Tennessee bill that would nullify the federal prohibition on the cultivation of industrial hemp passed a House subcommittee Wednesday.

HB1392 would authorize the production, sale, possession, and research of industrial hemp in Tennessee, effectively nullifying a federal ban on the same. The Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee unanimously passed the bill Wednesday, moving it on to the full committee for further consideration.

Industrial hemp falls under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. It technically remains “legal” to grow in the U.S., but farmers must first obtain a permit from the DEA, a nearly impossible feat. Growing hemp without a permit violates federal law. Many hemp supporters think the DEA acts as an “attack dog” to prevent American grown hemp products from competing with other products produced in industries such as cotton, paper/lumber, oil and others.

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