Oregon legalizes industrial hemp production

Industrial hemp is now legal in Oregon.
Industrial hemp is now legal in Oregon.
Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski has signed legislation legalizing the production, trade and possession of industrial hemp commodities and products. Oregon joins 16 states that have passed laws removing barriers to producing industrial hemp.

State Senator Floyd Prozanski, a sponsor of the legislation, said giving farmers the right to grow industrial hemp can benefit American manufacturers looking to produce hemp products, including nutritious foods, cosmetics, body care, clothing, tree-free paper, auto parts, building materials and fuels.

Patrick Goggin, director of the group Vote Hemp, said Oregon's Congressional delegation should make industrial hemp production legal at the federal level.

Many businesses in Oregon manufacture, market and sell hemp products, including Living Harvest, recognized by the Portland Business Journal's Fastest-Growing Private 100 Companies.

On June 9, Maine Governor John Baldacci signed the Maine hemp farming bill into law establishing a licensing regime for farming industrial hemp, although the licensing is contingent upon action by the federal government.

In 1998, Canada created Industrial Hemp Regulations under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Leaf or seed residue found on vehicles or farm machinery, without the proper licenses, may constitute possession of a controlled substance in Canada or elsewhere.

Thorough cleaning of vehicles and farm equipment is required under the Industrial Hemp Regulations.