Skip to comments.Man aims to become licensed hemp farmer
Posted on 01/15/2007 2:07:51 PM PST by ellery
BISMARCK, N.D. - David Monson began pushing the idea of growing industrial hemp in the United States a decade ago. Now his goal may be within reach but first he needs to be fingerprinted. Monson plans this week to apply to become the nation's first licensed industrial hemp farmer. He will have to provide two sets of fingerprints and proof that he's not a criminal.
The farmer, school superintendent and state legislator would like to start by growing 10 acres of the crop, and he spent part of his weekend staking out the field he wants to use.
"I'm starting to see that we maybe have a chance," Monson said. "For a while, it was getting really depressing."
Last month, the state Agriculture Department finished its work on rules farmers may use to grow industrial hemp, a cousin of marijuana that does not have the drug's hallucinogenic properties. The sturdy, fibrous plant is used to make an assortment of products, ranging from paper, rope and lotions to car panels, carpet backing and animal bedding.
Applicants must provide latitude and longitude coordinates for their proposed hemp fields, furnish fingerprints and pay at least $202 in fees, including $37 to cover the cost of criminal record checks.
Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson said the federal Drug Enforcement Administration still must give its permission before Monson, or anyone else, may grow industrial hemp.
"That is going to be a major hurdle," Johnson said.
Another impediment is the DEA's annual registration fee of $2,293, which is nonrefundable even if the agency does not grant permission to grow industrial hemp. Processing the paperwork for Monson's license should take about a month, Johnson said.
A DEA spokesman has said North Dakota applications to grow industrial hemp will be reviewed, and Johnson said North Dakota's rules were developed with the agency's concerns in mind. Law enforcement officials fear industrial hemp can shield illicit marijuana, although hemp supporters say the concern is unfounded.
North Dakota is one of seven states that have authorized industrial hemp farming. The others are Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana and West Virginia, according to Vote Hemp, an industrial hemp advocacy organization based in Bedford, Mass.
California lawmakers approved legislation last year that set out rules for industrial hemp production, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed it. The law asserted that the federal government lacked authority to regulate industrial hemp as a drug.
In 2005, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (news, bio, voting record), R-Texas, introduced legislation to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana in federal drug laws. It never came to a vote.
Monson farms near Osnabrock, a Cavalier County community in North Dakota's northeastern corner. He is the assistant Republican majority leader in the North Dakota House and is the school superintendent in Edinburg, which has about 140 students in grades kindergarten through 12.
In 1997, during his second session in the Legislature, Monson successfully pushed a bill to require North Dakota State University to study industrial hemp as an alternative crop for the state's farmers.
Canada made it legal for farmers to grow the crop in March 1998. Last year, Canadian farmers planted 48,060 acres of hemp, government statistics say. Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the provinces along North Dakota's northern border, were Canada's biggest hemp producers.
"I do know that industrial hemp grows really well 20 miles north of me," Monson said. "I don't see any reason why that wouldn't be a major crop for me, if this could go through."
Dude! Pass the Ganja!
That's more like it.
Well one farmer has some stones at least... I wish him luck.... Remember INDUSTRIAL HEMP has NO THC. It may be a good crop for him one day.
When FDR pushed through prohibition, they didn't want to put the prohibition enforcers out of work, so many went right into the DEA, BAFT or other new federal agencies. There is just something about socialists that doesn't mind putting thousands of people employed in the private sector out of work, but can't stand to put a relative handful of government people out of work.
Anyway, to make a long story short, hemp is a hearty plant and not easy to eradicate. Even when I was in high school in the 1970's there were constant reports of new discoveries between the railroad tracks near this town or ditch banks near that town. The kids generally managed to do the harvesting before the DEA teams could get there.
It made me appreciate not only how wonderously fertile the soil of the Red River Vally is, but also how wonderosly resilient plants in the hemp family are.
bump, I think military uniforms in hemp, USA made.
"Remember INDUSTRIAL HEMP has NO THC."
but if you're old enough to remember what "home-grown" meant way back when, that it what it is. Here is what the industrial hemp lobby has to say about it.....
1. Q: What is Industrial Hemp?
A: Industrial Hemp is a number of varieties of Cannabis sativa L. that are intended for agricultural and industrial purposes. They are grown for their seed and fiber content as well as the resulting byproducts such as oil, seed cake, hurds, etc. Industrial Hemp is characterized by being low in THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and high in CBD (cannabidiol). THC is less than 1% and in Canada and Europe the current legal level for cultivation is 0.3%. The ratio of CBD to THC is greater than one.
2. Q: What is marijuana?
A: Marijuana is a preparation made from varieties of Cannabis sativa L. that are intended for medical and recreational drug use. They are grown for their THC content, primarily in the flowering tops and to a lesser extent in the leaves. Cannabis sativa L. grown for marijuana is characterized by being high in THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and low in CBD (cannabidiol). The THC content is greater than 1%, usually 3% to 20%. The ratio of CBD to THC is less than one.
I'm sorry, but I still prefer cotton grown and harvested using numerous chemicals, including defoliants or a nice synthetic blend using a percentage of good old 100% petroleum.
Yep, I remember a few years ago a friend of my son's who lived in Oregon got mixed up with growing hemp. He related all the good that hemp can do for people. I think he just wanted legitimate access to continue his freewheeling pot days.
Just because a few dumbbells abuse a plant that looks like industrial hemp is no more reason to place draconian restriction on the cropt than is jailing every male between the ages of 15 and 30 who isn't gainfully employed or enrolled in education because this is the group which disproportionately commits crime.
And we're off, with the stupid pot bashing.
Nevermind that industrial hemp is nothing like marijuana. You'd have to smoke a telephone pole of it to get high, and you'd probably die first of excessive smoke inhalation.
Industrial hemp can do a lot of things for us. It's viable for fuel, clothing, and paper. It would really help the paper industry here in Wisconsin.
Hemp was grown around Champaign Illinois during WW II. The Students at the U Of IL found that there was a lot still growing wild there at the ends of fields. Big bust by DEA in the late 60's.
My question is, what in the Constitution gives the Feds authority to prohibit farming of this crop, provided the state has approved it?
Remember when General McAfferty (sp) was the drug czar under Clinton? He embargoed tons of bird seed from Canada because it contained sterilized marijuana seed, just has it had for decades.
Some guys can't past the word hemp.
If not there is always a ton to be made in ostrich farming. LOL
It still grows today in ditches all over western Illinois.
Ironically, widespread industrial hemp growing might make, in the long term, outdoor growing of recreational marijuana much more difficult.
For quality marijuana, keeping the female cannibis plants from getting pollinated is very important. Cannibis is a wind pollinated plant. If there are large fields of hemp growing everywhere any recreational plant outdoors could easily get pollinated by hemp pollen.
Future generations could also decline in quality for the same reason.
Is this going to be like bird flu and mutate to spread to humans?
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
"My question is, what in the Constitution gives the Feds authority to prohibit farming of this crop, provided the state has approved it?"
It's the "whatever congress wants to" clause of the constitution.
If congress wants to do it and they can get enough support for it, they have the legal authority to do anything, or so some would have you believe.
It's funny that a farmer has to jump through all these hoops to grow the same crop Washington and Jefferson grew.
This nation has gone bat-sh&$ insane with laws.
Fingerprints for growing hemp. God I hate the government.
ROTFL. The government can do anything they damn well please. The Constitution is just for looks, until the citizens decide otherwise.
The problem is that most citizens can't be bothered, and others like to use it to restrict people they don't like.
Article VI, Section 2 (Supremacy Clause) which says that federal law trumps state law.
The same clause that gives the Feds authority to prohibit medical marijuana when the state has approved it. Nothing new, ellery.
I have a 37-year old Amazon parrot that would sell her soul for hemp seed.
Back when it was available in a seed mix, she would start sorting through the seed I put in her bowl, eating all the hemp seed first.
Her favorite food of all time is still raw beef (go figure) and she can detect the scent of beef brought home from the store and still sealed in packages in the fridge...and starts asking for it in plain English.
Guess the founders forgot that they were writing on hemp when they outlawed in in that invisible amendment of yours.
Next you'll be telling us the purpose of the Constitution is to limit citizens' rights and enumerate powers for the state.
It's legal to import industrial hemp (provided it's not for consumption). What's this great urge to grow it domestically?
And they rode in carriages. Times change.
Same reason farmers cultivate any crop domestically, I'd guess.
Unlike for "any crop", this guy is jumping through hoops to do so. I would think it would be easier and cheaper to import the raw hemp from 20 miles away. Or the finished hemp product.
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."
But the interpretation of the Constitution isn't supposed to.
"If the founders intended to allow federal powers to trump state powers in any and all ways, the 10th Amendment would make no sense."
Well, there are federal powers ... and all the rest are state powers. So says the 10th.
The powers don't conflict. In this case, the federal law written under the power to regulate commerce conflicts with the state law written under the police power of the state.
"I write separately only to express my view that the very notion of a substantial effects test under the Commerce Clause is inconsistent with the original understanding of Congress powers and with this Courts early Commerce Clause cases. By continuing to apply this rootless and malleable standard, however circumscribed, the Court has encouraged the Federal Government to persist in its view that the Commerce Clause has virtually no limits. Until this Court replaces its existing Commerce Clause jurisprudence with a standard more consistent with the original understanding, we will continue to see Congress appropriating state police powers under the guise of regulating commerce."
We desperately need more ratty clothes and bio rope.
The fact that Congress, with the consent of the people, chooses to regulate something today that wasn't regulated 200 years ago has nothing whatsoever to do with "interpreting" the Constitution.
Because you disagree with what's being regulated doesn't mean it's unconstitutional.
Wihout hemp crops we will surely fail in the global market.
It might be worth it just to be able to document just exactly what kind of totally effedup bureaucratic abominiation they've created with out tax dollars, for our own good.
You can even purchase consumable hemp. But they're really only interested in getting loaded.
No, the supremacy clause says that federal law valid under the US Constitution trumps state law. If the founders intended to allow federal powers to trump state powers in any and all ways, the 10th Amendment would make no sense.
"-- This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding. --"
The typical refutation of Constitutional supremacy from FR's 'collective rights' faction parrots the 'manifesto' of the US Communitarian Party:
'-- We, as a society, decide which rights we will protect --- We can choose not to protect your right to arms or to do drugs.
If and when a majority of the people decide that we should, then we will.
Given that we're a self-governing nation, there's nothing to stop the majority from deciding this as the state pretty much has free reign to pass whatever laws they wish. --'
Well, there goes the FAA regulating intrastate flights, huh? Fly the hostile skies of Clarence Thomas.
"Commerce among the States, cannot stop at the external boundary line of each State, but may be introduced into the interior. It is not intended to say that these words comprehend that commerce, which is completely internal, which is carried on between man and man in a State, or between different parts of the same State, and which does not extend to or affect other States."
-- Gibbons v Ogden (1824). Opinion written by Chief Justice and Founding Father John Marshall.
Geez. It sure does seem to me that Chief Justice and Founding Father John Marshall was saying that if commerce DID affect other states, Congress may regulate it. (Later courts clarified that and said not only must it affect other states, it must substantially affect other states.)
Who to believe? A Founding Father's opinion in a landmark case or Clarence Thomas' musings?
Hemp gums up processing machinery, so unless we can get a few million more Mexicans to process it for fifty cents an hour it's not going to work as an industrial crop.
If industrial hemp is not marijuana then I don't understand why it was hemp made illegal to begin with?
And so start the lies of omission.
"-- I write separately only to express my view that the very notion of a 'substantial effects' test under the Commerce Clause is inconsistent with the original understanding --".
Typically, our Communitarian commerce clause FReekers drag out the pitiful old 'FAA bit', as if anyone contests the 'police powers' of Congress to reasonably regulate air traffic among the several States.
It the "substantial effects" effect. "If we can't regulate everything, then we can't regulate anything."
Products made from industrial hemp are very durable. I have used the same hemp wallet for the last 10 years and it has held up at least 5 times as long as any leather wallet I've ever had. I would say it will last at least another 5 to 10 years.
You're either extremely misinformed about hemp, or you're a liar.