Thursday, July 7, 2005
Newly introduced federal legislation could make North Dakota a leader again in the production of industrial hemp, said Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson.
"Industrial hemp is used in a tremendous variety of products, including food products, soap, cosmetics, fertilizer, textiles, paper, paints and plastics," Johnson said. "Once the crop is legalized in this country, I believe science will find even more uses for industrial hemp, uses that will make industrial hemp a popular and profitable crop."
Johnson spoke recently at a reception in Washington, D.C., following the introduction of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. The measure, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, would allow states to regulate industrial hemp farming.
"Congressman Paul's bill would allow North Dakota to put state laws that are already on the books into effect," Johnson said. "Our state is poised to begin full-scale hemp research and production efforts as soon as the federal restrictions are lifted."