The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), Bluebird Botanicals, the Hemp Industry Association (HIA), the National Hemp Association (NHA), and Vote Hemp sent a letter to House and Senate Agriculture Committee chairs and ranking members to express appreciation for including the Hemp Farming Act in the Farm Bill and urge them to remove a provision that would make any person ever convicted of a felony relating to a controlled substance under State or Federal law ineligible to participate in hemp production or programs.
“We respectfully ask that the drug felony ban be completely removed,” the letter stated. “The felony ban would only increase the risk of recidivism for people who are trying to find stable employment. People of color would also likely be disproportionately impacted by the felony ban, given the well documented racial disparities in drug law enforcement across the country.”
The letter expressed gratitude for Senator Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) leadership and perseverance in working to pass legislation to legalize hemp at the federal level and requested that the Agriculture committee leaders support the Farm Bill with the Hemp Farming Act provisions. The organizations also requested a process be established for State and Tribal entities to develop and implement hemp production plans.
“We look forward to the day when federal law no longer stands in the way of the hemp industry realizing its full economic and job creation potential for the American people,” the letter stated.
The letter can be viewed here.