The National Hemp Association (NHA) has urged the members of the United States House of Representatives to include $1 billion in financing in budget reconciliation legislation. This money is intended to be spent to assist the cannabis industry via scientific innovations and cannabis crop research.
The National Hemp Association, or the NHA, as it has come to be known, claims to represent 90% of state hemp license holders in the United States. The non-profit organization just issued a letter to senior legislators with a suggested amendment to help the cannabis sector get back on its feet after the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp.
“History confirms that the world looks to America to lead change, be it industrial, cultural or environmental. Hemp, America’s newest commodity crop, will be at the forefront of this regenerative economic and social shift, helping create jobs, clean our soil and air, and introduce sustainable new products once only dreamed about,” said Geoff Whaling, chair of the NHA, in a news statement.
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This would be a good way for government to invest in infrastructure, mitigate climate change and create good paying jobs!
— National Hemp Assoc. (@NatHempAssoc) September 8, 2021
If approved, the funds will enable federal officials to “encourage hemp growers, processors, and other related businesses to trade freely and participate globally, sequester unprecedented amounts of carbon, remediate contaminated soil and water, provide financing and employment to historically marginalized members of the farming community, and much more,” according to a letter sent to members of Congress by the organization.
Geoff added, “With the right investment in infrastructure hemp will become America’s Next Natural Resource.”
Key Elements of the $1 Billion Hemp Funding request
-$100 million for every one of the four hemp-growing “regional super sites” in Michigan, Oregon, Florida, and New York.
-$120 million for farms that meet the criteria for being “historically underserved.”
-$380 million, “distributed based on hemp farm acreage calculations.” 10% of this will be given to states, tribes, and territories for “hemp industry education, enforcement, and regulation.”
Grants of approximately $3 million each would be given to hemp enterprises to help them buy equipment “that allows a farmer to harvest or cultivate a hemp plant, a manufacturer to extract, decort, degum, flavor, can, pack, mold, press, and/or any other machinery that uses the hemp plant or any derivatives of the hemp plant to create a product or work in progress.”
Find full details in the letter here.
It remains to be seen if the suggested proposal will be accepted by the leadership. In Congress, however, the growing hemp sector has continued to enjoy bipartisan backing.
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA, has also continued to accept state agricultural regulation programs. Colorado authorities have repeatedly said that the state wants to be a frontrunner in the area, and the agency just approved a hemp proposal filed by the state.
Furthermore, USDA officials from President Joe Biden’s administration met with stakeholders from the hemp industry for the first time in January to study the market’s requirements.
National Industrial Hemp Council board chair Patrick Atagi, who was nominated by USDA and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to serve on a federal trade advisory group in February, told that the meeting “went very well.”