Montana Issues Hemp Crop License

by jhwygirl

Montana Agriculture Department has issued the state’s first industrial hemp production license – the first since approving it into law in 2001.

Federal Law requires a special permit to grow hemp.

Laura Murphy, who works for a Bozeman medical marijuana business, plans to lease some land near Ennis and grow the crop. She has no intent of obtaining the federal permit.

Interestingly, last week the Obama administration announced a new no-prosecute policy towards medical marijuana in states where medical marijuana has been made legal.

Clearly there are some significant distinctions between hemp and medical marijuana. Hemp has thousands of beneficial uses – medical marijuana, on the other hand, is a waste if you don’t put it up in smoke, so to speak.

It’s an interesting case on state’s rights, though – Montana even reaffirmed its committment towards industrialized hemp this past legislative session when it passed a joint resolution urging congress to legalized the production of hemp.

Both of those bills, btw – the 2001 law and the 2009 resolution – had overwhelming support in both the house and the senate.

Will the Obama administration take the same hand with hemp as it plans with medical marijuana?

I also ponder the parallels of this issue another 2009 legislative session law, Rep. Joel Boniek’s HB246, a bill to exempt Montana-made firearms and ammunition from commerce clause.

Disclosure: I am not fan of Rep. Joel Boniek.

Now – aside from the sheer lunacy of a state writing into law (or a legislator voting for, or a governor signing into law) a bill that is simply titled “AN ACT EXEMPTING FROM FEDERAL REGULATION UNDER THE COMMERCE CLAUSE OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES A FIREARM, A FIREARM ACCESSORY, OR AMMUNITION MANUFACTURED AND RETAINED IN MONTANA; AND PROVIDING AN APPLICABILITY DATE,” the bill was intended to directly challenge state’s rights via the every powerful-and-easy-to-scare-up-tons-of-both-press-and-cash on media magnet: Guns.

Exempting from federal regulation? Under the Constitution of the United States? Really? How do you take an oath of office to uphold the laws of Montana and the United States….oh, never mind.

2001’s hemp law, on the other hand, took the approach of not only legislating an affirmative defense for anyone who obtains the state’s hemp-growing license, it requires the state to petition the federal government for a change or waiver.

As the Missoulian article points out, the state did apply in 2002 to the feds for recognition of the (then new) state law. Montana was denied. The Ag Department is currently considering whether to reapply now that they have issued a license – but points out it will administer the law.

Maybe our delegation should step in here and ask for a statement from the Administration regarding hemp production? Given it not only had overwhelming support, that support in Montana has been long and was just recently reaffirmed.

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  1. Bob

    This is GREAT news. Montana is leading the way for a new industry to take hold in the US.

  2. goof houlihan

    Homegrown’s all right with me.
    Homegrown is the way it should be.
    Homegrown is a good thing.
    Plant that bell and let it ring.

    I’d add, with firearms and whiskey, too. didn’t I just quote Steve Earle’s Copperhead Road here recently?

    Rock on.

  3. Bob

    @houlihan ~ Nothing quite as good and satisfying as a bottle of your own home brew.

  4. happyhempster

    * All schoolbooks were made from hemp or flax paper until the 1880s; Hemp Paper Reconsidered, Jack Frazier, 1974.

    * It was LEGAL TO PAY TAXES WITH HEMP in America from 1631 until the early 1800s; LA Times, Aug. 12, 1981.

    * REFUSING TO GROW HEMP in America during the 17th and 18th Centuries WAS AGAINST THE LAW! You could be jailed in Virginia for refusing to grow hemp from 1763 to 1769; Hemp in Colonial Virginia, G. M. Herdon.
    * George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers GREW HEMP; Washington and Jefferson Diaries. Jefferson smuggled hemp seeds from China to France then to America.

    * Benjamin Franklin owned one of the first paper mills in America and it processed hemp. Also, the War of 1812 was fought over hemp. Napoleon wanted to cut off Moscow’s export to England; Emperor Wears No Clothes, Jack Herer.

    * For thousands of years, 90% of all ships’ sails and rope were made from hemp. The word ‘canvas’ is Dutch for cannabis; Webster’s New World Dictionary.

    * 80% of all textiles, fabrics, clothes, linen, drapes, bed sheets, etc. were made from hemp until the 1820s with the introduction of the cotton gin.

    * The first Bibles, maps, charts, Betsy Ross’s flag, the first drafts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were made from hemp; U.S. Government Archives.

    * The first crop grown in many states was hemp. 1850 was a peak year for Kentucky producing 40,000 tons. Hemp was the largest cash crop until the 20th Century; State Archives.

    * Oldest known records of hemp farming go back 5000 years in China, although hemp industrialization probably goes back to ancient Egypt.

    * Rembrants, Gainsboroughs, Van Goghs as well as most early canvas paintings were principally painted on hemp linen.

    * In 1916, the U.S. Government predicted that by the 1940s all paper would come from hemp and that no more trees need to be cut down. Government studies report that 1 acre of hemp equals 4.1 acres of trees. Plans were in the works to implement such programs; Department of Agriculture

    * Quality paints and varnishes were made from hemp seed oil until 1937. 58,000 tons of hemp seeds were used in America for paint products in 1935; Sherman Williams Paint Co. testimony before Congress against the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act.

    * Henry Ford’s first Model-T was built to run on hemp gasoline and the CAR ITSELF WAS CONTRUCTED FROM HEMP! On his large estate, Ford was photographed among his hemp fields. The car, ‘grown from the soil,’ had hemp plastic panels whose impact strength was 10 times stronger than steel; Popular Mechanics, 1941.

    * Hemp called ‘Billion Dollar Crop.’ It was the first time a cash crop had a business potential to exceed a billion dollars; Popular Mechanics, Feb., 1938.

    * Mechanical Engineering Magazine (Feb. 1938) published an article entitled ‘The Most Profitable and Desirable Crop that Can be Grown.’ It stated that if hemp was cultivated using 20th Century technology, it would be the single largest agricultural crop in the U.S. and the rest of the worl

    • Big Swede

      Before 1934 you could special order a Thompson machine gun from your local hardware store.

      http://www.nfatoys.com/tsmg/web/coltguns.htm

      I’m with you, lets go back in time.




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