as introduced - 82nd Legislature (2001 - 2002) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
1.1 A resolution 1.2 relating to industrial hemp. 1.3 1.4 WHEREAS, industrial hemp refers to varieties of the 1.5 cannabis plant which have a low content (under one percent) of 1.6 the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and that 1.7 are cultivated for fiber and oil, and industrial hemp should not 1.8 be confused with varieties of cannabis which have a high content 1.9 (three percent and higher) of THC and which are commonly 1.10 referred to as marijuana; and 1.11 WHEREAS, industrial hemp has an important place in American 1.12 history, having been introduced to the land by our forefathers, 1.13 grown by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and used in the 1.14 paper on which were written the initial drafts of our 1.15 Constitution and Declaration of Independence; and 1.16 WHEREAS, hemp was an important military resource during 1.17 World War II, prompting our federal government to wage an 1.18 aggressive "Hemp for Victory" campaign which produced over 1.19 400,000 acres for use by our forces between 1942 and 1945, 1.20 including an estimated 59,500 acres planted in Minnesota during 1.21 1943 and 1944; and 1.22 WHEREAS, U.S. demand for legal hemp-based products has 1.23 grown from a negligible market to an estimated $50 million a 1.24 year business, and has made us the world's largest importer of 2.1 foreign-grown hemp-based materials; and 2.2 WHEREAS, estimated retail sales for hemp food and body care 2.3 products in the U.S. exceeded $25 million in 2000; of that 2.4 market hemp foods accounted for close to $5 million, and these 2.5 markets were valued at less than $1 million per year in the 2.6 early 1990's; and 2.7 WHEREAS, according to medical experts, hemp seed is one of 2.8 nature's most perfect sources for human nutrition, supplying all 2.9 the essential amino acids in an easily digestible form with a 2.10 high protein efficiency ratio, and offering high concentrations 2.11 of the two essential fatty acids in a perfect ratio of 2.12 omega-3/omega-6 acids; and 2.13 WHEREAS, hemp is designated a "food resource" of importance 2.14 to national security by a 1994 Executive Order (12919 - National 2.15 Defense Industrial Resources Preparedness); and 2.16 WHEREAS, since 1999, Minnesota and ten other states 2.17 (Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Montana, New 2.18 Mexico, North Dakota, Vermont, and Virginia) have passed bills 2.19 or resolutions supporting the reintroduction of industrial hemp 2.20 into American agriculture; and 2.21 WHEREAS, over 30 countries, including Canada, currently 2.22 permit the cultivation of industrial hemp, utilizing strains 2.23 which have been bred to conform to a European Union-developed 2.24 standard of containing 0.3 percent THC or less; and 2.25 WHEREAS, despite the bills and resolutions related to 2.26 industrial hemp passed by 11 states in the past three years, the 2.27 Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has issued only one permit for a 2.28 single, quarter-acre plot in Hawaii, and has recently issued an 2.29 "interpretative rule" prohibiting hemp food products, possibly 2.30 affecting the market for hemp-based body care products in the 2.31 U.S., a move which has resulted in federal and international 2.32 lawsuits against the agency, and an official complaint by the 2.33 Canadian government; and 2.34 WHEREAS, the "interpretative rule" is based on an argument 2.35 that the original legislative intent of the 1970 Controlled 2.36 Substances Act was to control human consumption of all products 3.1 containing Schedule I substances, an argument that fails because 3.2 at the time this law was passed there was no knowledge of the 3.3 nutritional benefits of hemp foods, and this rule is only now 3.4 being reinterpreted after years of growth by the hemp food 3.5 products industry; and 3.6 WHEREAS, the DEA's "interpretative rule" discriminates 3.7 against the emerging hemp products market by not treating trace 3.8 amounts of THC with the same discretion granted to trace amounts 3.9 of opiates in poppy seeds and trace amounts of alcohol in orange 3.10 juice, and the agency has ignored the TestPledge standards 3.11 voluntarily developed by the hemp industry to responsibly 3.12 address all health, safety, and drug-testing issues with a wide 3.13 margin of safety; NOW, THEREFORE, 3.14 BE IT RESOLVED by the Legislature of the State of Minnesota 3.15 that it joins the National Conference of State Legislatures in 3.16 strongly urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Drug 3.17 Enforcement Agency, and the Office of National Drug Control 3.18 Policy to collaboratively develop and adopt an official 3.19 definition of industrial hemp, as per those nations currently 3.20 producing hemp. The Legislature also strongly urges Congress to 3.21 amend United States Code, title 21, section 812, subsection (1), 3.22 and United States Code, title 21, section 841, to distinguish 3.23 between industrial hemp and marijuana varieties of cannabis as 3.24 they relate to production, possession, delivery, and intended 3.25 use. 3.26 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature urges the 3.27 Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Agency to rescind 3.28 its "interpretative rule" introduced October 9, 2001, at Code of 3.29 Federal Regulations, title 21, part 1308, and to work 3.30 collaboratively with the hemp industry to formalize TestPledge 3.31 standards with government sanction. 3.32 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of State of the 3.33 State of Minnesota is directed to prepare copies of this 3.34 memorial and transmit them to the President of the United 3.35 States, the President and Secretary of the United States Senate, 3.36 the Speaker and Clerk of the United States House of 4.1 Representatives, the chairs of the Agriculture Committees of the 4.2 United States Senate and House of Representatives, the United 4.3 States Secretary of Agriculture, the Director of the Drug 4.4 Enforcement Administration, the Director of the Office of 4.5 National Drug Control Policy, and Minnesota's Senators and 4.6 Representatives in Congress.