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The National Hemp Association, Agricultural Hemp Solutions and IND Hemp are working closely together to introduce the Industrial Hemp Exemption Act of 2022.

This act seeks to remove background checks and compliance testing for farmers that designate that hemp stalk and/or grain are the only materials leaving their field and certify that there will be no cannabinoid extraction of any kind from any material.

The bill does not take any authority away from law enforcement and provides for strict enforcement for anyone that attempts to violate the program.

The exemption will not have any impact on cannabinoid production. It simply creates a sub-definition of industrial hemp produced for true industrial purposes — the uses that have always been exempted from the Controlled Substances Act.

For fiber and grain hemp to become a common crop farmers grow in their rotations with other row crops like corn, soy or wheat, we need regulators to treat hemp more like these traditional commodity crops.

We need to remove the barriers that prevent industrial hemp growth and processing on a commercial scale.

Our regulators need to stop making the farmers growing hemp feel like they are criminals.

This exemption, which creates a clear line of delineation between fiber and grain hemp and cannabinoid/floral hemp, will also help resolve some of the issues industrial producers are still experiencing with banking, transportation and advertising.

The fiber and grain sectors of the industry are optimistically growing, albeit at a much slower pace than the cannabinoid sector. Ultimately, it is this slow and steady progress and favorable policy like the Industrial Hemp Exemption Act that will help hemp reach its full potential.

We continue to hear from stakeholders how critical this initiative is to secure a sensible future for industrial hemp. Since first writing about the need for an exemption for industrial hemp producers six months ago, we have gained broad industry and regulator support. We are currently checking off the last boxes on the path to introduction.

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Eric Stark (left) from the National Hemp Association is working with Courtney Moran (center) from Agricultural Hemp Solutions and Morgan Tweet from the Hemp Feed Coalition to enact positive change for the fiber and grain sectors of the hemp industry.

Our coalition is working hard behind the scenes to make this happen. While support for this policy reform is strong, that does not mean passage is automatic or guaranteed.

Unfortunately, there are groups with a vested interest in keeping the status quo. We have work to do educating legislators and regulators about the proposed regulatory framework with strict enforcement provisions and alleviating persisting prohibitionist fears.

We need your help to keep our positive momentum going. Visit HempExemption.com to join our growing list of supporters and stay up to date on the latest developments.

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