Wyden amendment cheers industrial hemp supporters
PORTLAND, OR - Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden proposed an amendment to the U.S. Farm Bill that would define industrial hemp differently from its cousin marijuana, allowing farmers to grow it commercially. Hemp advocates say the plant is very useful for many commercial purposes, including biofuels.
The proposed amendment to the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012 would allow states to set their own laws about industrial hemp cultivation.
Wyden's amendment, proposed Thursday, landed during the third annual Hemp History Week, an event organized by hemp supporters.
A similar bill, HR 1831, was introduced in the House by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) earlier in the session.
In 2010, researchers at University of Connecticut found that industrial hemp exhibited properties making it attractive as a feedstock for producing biodiesel. The ester-based oxygenated fuel made from made from hemp showed properties indicating it could be used at lower temperatures than other biodiesel fuels.