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In response to a viewer question about marijuana, Democrat Suzanne Bonamici said: "Industrial hemp is something that right now is used in products and people with businesses right here in Oregon have to buy it from Canada because there’s a federal law that says it can’t be grown."
We know that industrial hemp has been an issue in the Oregon Legislature. Didn’t the Senate pass something allowing farmers to grow hemp for food, health care products and clothing?
Our hunch was right. In 2009, state lawmakers approved Senate Bill 676, which authorizes farmers to grow hemp, subject to regulation by the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Oregon became the seventh state to do so, joining Maine and Hawaii.
But we can’t grow industrial hemp yet because the federal government has yet to authorize it.
"Until there is some change at the federal level, we are poised to begin the process of establishing rules for production," said Bruce Pokarney, spokesman for Oregon’s Agriculture Department.
The federal government does not allow the growing of industrial hemp in the United States. We rate the statement True.
KGW/The Oregonian 1st Congressional District debate (video), Jan. 10, 2012
OpenCongress.org, "H.R.1831 - Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011"
ODA Commodity Inspection Division, Industrial hemp in Oregon(website)
Interview with Bruce Pokarney, Jan. 12, 2012
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