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Rosendale and Houlahan Introduce Industrial Hemp Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Matt Rosendale (MT-02) and Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06) issued a joint statement after introducing the Industrial Hemp Act in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Industrial hemp is a staple commodity crop for many Montana farmers,” said Rep Rosendale. “Unfortunately, burdensome regulations are preventing hardworking farmers from taking full advantage of this booming agricultural market. The bipartisan Industrial Hemp Act will remove red tape that’s holding the industry back and create good-paying jobs for the people of Montana.”

“Hemp is relatively easy to grow, resistant to pests that kill other crops, good for the soil, and is a high-yield product. All of these qualities make it attractive to farmers. It’s used to make a range of goods including biodegradable fibers and biofuels. Unfortunately, today these farmers face regulations that are a little outdated,” said Rep. Houlahan. “Chester and Berks Counties are home to dozens of Pennsylvania’s hemp farms, and on their behalf, I’m glad to introduce legislation to modernize regulation of this growing industry.”

“As a small business owner in Montana trying to create jobs in rural communities and support local farmers, it’s encouraging to see such leadership from Congressman Matt Rosendale,” said Morgan Tweet of the Hemp Feed Coalition. “He understands the constraints the current USDA Hemp program has put on Montana growers and is taking formative steps to make impactful change. Montana elected officials should be applauded for their ability to see past party lines and move collectively forward on initiatives that help their constituents.”

Current regulations governing hemp production are ambiguous and fail to separate industrial hemp products from cannabinoid or floral hemp, creating additional hurdles for growers. This vague regulatory framework makes it difficult for industrial hemp growers to compete with other commodity crops and creates confusion among banking, transportation, insurance, advertising, and other related industries.

The Industrial Hemp Act will create a separate classification for industrial hemp and establish a framework that punishes bad actors. By creating a new regulatory regime, this legislation will clear up onerous regulations and allow growers to work more efficiently.