Proceedings, Debates of the U.S. Congress
PETITIONS AND MEMORIALS; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 207
(Senate - January 02, 2019)
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[Pages S8058-S8059] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] PETITIONS AND MEMORIALS The following petition or memorial was laid before the Senate and was referred or ordered to lie on the table as indicated: POM-320. A resolution adopted by the Senate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania urging the United States Congress to pass the language from the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, as contained in the Farm Bill of 2018, removing industrial hemp from the Schedule 1 Controlled Substance List and legalizing commercial industrial hemp production in the United States; to the Committee on the Judiciary. Senate Resolution No. 421 Whereas, A bipartisan effort has taken place at both the Federal and State levels to pass legislation which would allow American farmers to compete with foreign nations in industrial hemp production; and Whereas, The United States relied upon hemp production from the time period of the Mayflower voyage to the War of 1812 and through every world war; and Whereas, Hemp production in Pennsylvania has a 260-year history due to the favorable climate and soil, and Whereas, Industrial hemp plants are cultivated for products derived from the whole plant, including stalk, seeds, flower and roots for products including fiber, food, oil and extracts; and Whereas, Industrial hemp has thousands of applications and can be refined into a variety of commercial products including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, cannabinoids, paint, insulation, biofuel, food and animal feed; and Whereas, Each year, American companies are forced to import millions of dollars' worth of industrial hemp seed and fiber products annually from China, Canada, Europe and other countries; and Whereas, Industrial hemp has often been confused with marijuana, as it is a member of the cannabis family; however, it has no psychoactive effect due to a very low level of tetrahydrocannabinol; and Whereas, Chapter 7 of Title 3 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes defines industrial hemp as the plant Cannabis saliva L. and any part of the plant with less than three-tenths of one percent tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC; and Whereas, Uncertainty about Federal laws inhibits investment in the United States and Pennsylvania hemp industry by agricultural producers, manufacturers, processors and other businesses; and Whereas, Section 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014, the Farm Bill of 2014 and the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2016, authorized State industrial hemp agricultural pilot research programs and the activities associated with such programs; and Whereas, The Department of Agriculture of the Commonwealth, farmers, researchers and industry leaders recognized the potential for opportunities in industrial hemp production and products and in investment in Pennsylvania's industrial hemp industry where this Commonwealth could become a national leader to take advantage of the potential $1 billion national market for growing, producing, processing and selling industrial hemp and industrial hemp products; and Whereas, To this end, in 2016, the General Assembly and Governor of the Commonwealth enacted Act 92 of 2016, which established Chapter 7 of Title 3 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes and authorized an industrial hemp research pilot program to commence the initial research into such potential opportunities; and Whereas, In the fall of 2018, the Congress of the United States is poised to pass the language from the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, as contained in the 2018 Farm Bill, which removes industrial hemp from the Schedule I [[Page S8059]] Controlled Substance List and legalizes commercial industrial hemp production in the United States; and Whereas, The Department of Agriculture of the Commonwealth is encouraged to immediately commence a study of this Commonwealth's industrial hemp pilot program and other industrial hemp pilot programs in other states and their regulations to recommend any draft statutory or draft regulatory language to the General Assembly to expedite the entry of this Commonwealth into the commercial industrial hemp market upon passage of the language from the Hemp Farming Act by the Congress of the United States: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania urge the Congress of the United States to pass the language from the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, as contained in the Farm Bill of 2018, removing industrial hemp from the Schedule I Controlled Substance List and legalizing commercial industrial hemp production in the United States; and be it further Resolved, That the Senate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania urge the Department of Agriculture of the Commonwealth to begin a study of the industrial hemp research pilot programs established under Act 92 of 2016 and similar research pilot programs in other states and their regulations to prepare any recommended draft legislation for submission to the General Assembly and a framework for any draft regulatory provisions that incorporate the following: (1) The growth and cultivation of industrial hemp produced in compliance with Federal law is an agricultural crop. (2) The producers of industrial hemp within the Commonwealth have access to United States-supported seed, germplasm, rooted cuttings and other genetics. (3) All industrial hemp products, including genetics, that are produced in this Commonwealth shall be able to be freely shipped across State lines into and out of this Commonwealth. (4) The Department of Agriculture of the Commonwealth prepares a process for institutions of higher education in this Commonwealth to obtain approval to conduct industrial hemp research that complies with existing law and is eligible for Federal grant funding. (5) The Department of Agriculture of the Commonwealth prepares educational programs and materials for the education of youth and the public on the growth, cultivation and market potential for industrial hemp; and be it further Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Governor, the Secretary of Agriculture of the Commonwealth, the presiding officers of each house of Congress and to each member of Congress from Pennsylvania. ____________________