By Anthony Martinelli

The United States Senate Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Committee has given approval to an amendment that would prevent the federal government from interfering with state laws that allow for the legal cultivation and production of hemp. The amendment, championed by Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wydnen, was added to a larger appropriations bill.

“It’s ridiculous that the federal government is still standing in the way of states that have made the decision to allow industrial hemp farming,” says Senator Merkley. “Industrial hemp has the potential to create jobs and research opportunities here in Oregon and it’s time for the federal government to get out of the way.”

“Ending restrictions on industrial hemp is pro-environment, pro-business, pro-farmer and pro-commonsense,” Wyden said. “That’s why I’ve been proud to work with Senator Merkley on this, and on our legislation that would stop the unfair punishment of hemp entrepreneurs and farmers in Oregon and nationwide. After all, if you can buy hemp at the local supermarket in Oregon, American farmers should be able to grow it.”

The amendment was given approval in a bipartisan voice vote.

At the time of this publication, there are 27 states – the majority of the country – that have passed laws legalizing hemp for research and/or commercial purposes.

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