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Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul push legalizing hemp growth

Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul push legalizing hemp growth

By JENNY HOPKINSON 2/5/15 5:38 AM EST From Politico.com Forget legalizing pot: Two of the most powerful Republicans in the Senate believe there’s a much stronger chance to legalize growing hemp in the U.S., opening up an entirely new market for crops, health food, oil, shirts, towels and even dog toys. Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul and Rep. Thomas Massie are pushing legislation in both chambers of Congress that would remove the less-potent member of the cannabis family from the federal list of controlled substances, allowing its return to America’s farmland after more than 40 years. It’s a states’ rights and economic growth issue, the Republican lawmakers argue. Legalizing hemp would create jobs. “People used to downplay the number of jobs industrial hemp might create and say, ‘Well it’s a few thousand jobs and a couple million in commerce,’” Massie said. But all told, legalizing the crop has the potential to create 10 times as many jobs “as the Keystone XL pipeline will create 10 years from now.” Hemp legalization legislation has been considered in Congress since 2005, when then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) pushed the issue. But the current bills have champions in positions of power, including the Senate majority leader and a potential White House contender. Read...
HIA issues statement about differences between hemp and cannabis oils

HIA issues statement about differences between hemp and cannabis oils

Confusion amongst the public on how exactly hemp oil differs from cannabidiol, or CBD, oil, has prompted the nonprofit Hemp Industries Association to issue a statement explaining the difference between the oils in order to ensure that consumers — specifically, medical marijuana patients — are not misled about the intended uses. Hemp is often mistaken for its cannabis cousin, marijuana, even though smoking an entire garbage bag of hemp would not produce an altered state of consciousness, as hemp contains low levels of THC. Confusion between hemp oil and marijuana oil has spiked recently, as states have passed medical marijuana laws that allow for the use of strains of marijuana that are low in THC and high in CBD. Consumers often confuse hemp oil with CBD oil because both are low in THC and contain CBD. “With hemp research and development pilot programs taking off this spring, and the hemp retail market growing at an incredible rate, it’s crucial that consumers and retailers alike understand the difference between hemp oil and CBD extracts,” Eric Steenstra, executive director of Hemp Industries Association, said in a separate statement. “Our Hemp Industries Association position regarding this distinction calls on makers of CBD products to brand and market their products truthfully and clearly, so as to not further the confusion surrounding CBD products in the marketplace.” Though hemp oil does contain low levels of CBD, typically less than 25 parts per million (ppm), CBD extracts “are produced either directly from cannabis flowers that are up to 15 percent CBD (150,000 ppm), or indirectly as a co-product of the flowers and leaves that are mixed in...