Twenty years ago this week a group of hemp industry advocates came together to launch Vote Hemp with the goal of bringing back hemp as a commercial crop for American farmers. For many years Vote Hemp was the only advocacy group working on behalf of farmers and the U.S. hemp industry. We met with or supported meetings with thousands of policy makers over the years and our education and advocacy work helped to change the conversation in states and in Congress about the potential of hemp to create economic opportunity for American farmers and businesses.
We are proud of the progress we made over the years including leading the successful legal effort to overturn DEA regulations to ban hemp foods, helping to draft the first Industrial Hemp Farming Act in 2005, testifying for and helping to pass hemp legalization bills in many states, researching and publishing reports on the economics of hemp, fighting for inclusion of hemp pilot programs in the 2014 Farm Bill and of course the removal of hemp from the Controlled Substances Act in the 2018 Farm Bill.
Some people have asked us: “now that hemp is legal, what are you going to do?” Frankly we are just getting started and there is plenty of work left to do to ensure this industry is successful for the long term. We intend to continue representing small family farmers and hemp businesses and advocating for policies that will help the entire industry grow and be successful. That includes working with Congress as well as state and federal agencies.
Following passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, we have begun to focus more on implementation of the law and fighting to get FDA to regulate CBD extracts just as any other food or supplement. We have shared our knowledge and data with USDA and advocated for critical improvements to the Interim Final Rule. We also are prioritizing efforts to raise the federal THC threshold to 1% and pushing for more federal support and recognition of this important new crop going forward. We hope you will join us and continue offering your support.
We want to offer a special thanks to David Bronner and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. They provided critical financial and staff support throughout the years for Vote Hemp. Without their generous support, we would have never been able to accomplish our goal of legalizing hemp farming in the U.S. We also greatly appreciate you and the many other businesses and individuals who have supported our work over the years and advocated with us. We are excited about continuing to work on behalf of this plant and look forward to seeing you at a lobby day or event soon.