cannabisnews.com: ND Industrial Hemp License Rules Submitted





ND Industrial Hemp License Rules Submitted
Posted by CN Staff on May 03, 2006 at 07:46:53 PT
By Herald Staff Report
Source: Grand Forks Herald
North Dakota -- Proposed changes in state law have been formally submitted that, if approved, would license North Dakota farmers to grow industrial hemp.North Dakota would be the first state in the nation to do so. But rule ratification would not legalize industrial hemp production in the state, since federal law prohibits it.
"The final decision is a federal matter," state Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson said in a statement. "It is very likely that some congressional action will be necessary to bring about a major change in federal policy."The United States is virtually the only industrialized country that bans industrial hemp cultivation. Canada, for one, has allowed it since its federal ban was lifted nine years ago, Johnson said.Johnson has scheduled a public hearing for 10 a.m. June 15 on proposed rules for the production of industrial hemp. The hearing will be held in Lecture Room B in the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck."Ratification of these rules is an important step in the process of enabling farmers to grow and sell this potentially valuable crop," Johnson said. "We already have legislation in place that puts North Dakota well ahead of other states in working to legalize production of industrial hemp."Johnson said that since 1999, the Legislature has passed several significant bills related to hemp cultivation. The proposed rules would implement the legislation.Some highlights of the proposed hemp farming rules include: Producers must consent to a criminal background check, including fingerprints. Buyers and the amount of harvested hemp sold must be documented within 30 days of sale. The location of hemp fields must be provided using geopositioning instrumentation. Planted hemp seed must contain less than three-tenths of 1 percent tetrahydrocannabinolJohnson said North Dakota's rules would afford the first opportunity for individuals to seek federal permits for state-sanctioned hemp production since a Hawaii law allowed a researcher to obtain permits to study industrial hemp from 1999 to 2003.Johnson and several other state agriculture commissioners met with top officials of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) earlier this year to discuss what the states were required to do in order to allow industrial hemp production.Industrial hemp (cannabis sativa) is widely grown around the world and is used in the manufacture of textiles, papers and rope, according to the state Agriculture Department. The seed is also used for food and feed. Oil derived from the plant is used in cosmetics, paints and medicinal compounds. The industrial form of hemp contains only trace amounts of the psychoactive drug delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana, although DEA does not currently distinguish industrial hemp apart from marijuana.The proposed rules and regulatory analysis may be viewed at the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) on the sixth floor of the State Capitol in Bismarck, or on the department's website at: http://www.agdepartment.comWritten copies are available by contacting the department at 600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 602, Bismarck, ND 58505-0020; or phone (800) 242-7535, or (701) 328-2231; email: ndda state.nd.usAny written testimony on the proposed rules must be received by NDDA by July 20, to be fully considered.Note: State would be first to issue hemp licenses to farmers, provided feds end ban; public hearing set for June 15.Complete Title: Proposed ND Industrial Hemp License Rules SubmittedSource: Grand Forks Herald (ND)Published: May 3, 2006Copyright: 2006 Grand Forks HeraldContact: letters gfherald.comWebsite: http://www.grandforks.com/mld/grandforks/CannabisNews Hemp Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/hemp.shtml
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