Representatives Eleanor Holmes Norton, Barbara Lee, and Earl Blumenauer recently sent a letter to the Executive Director of the United States Botanic Garden, Dr. Saharah Moon Chapotin requesting that male and female hemp plants be on display.
The lawmakers wrote:
“Since 2014, hemp has become a respected agricultural commodity in the U.S. More than 45 states and 40 tribes currently engage in production of agricultural hemp. Hemp is a rapidly growing commodity, has numerous value chains and is used in the food, health and wellness, cosmetic, construction, automotive and traditional industrial sectors, to name a few. Hemp-derived products are found in the general retail marketplace both domestically and internationally. The market has grown exponentially since the implementation of the pilot programs and some expect the market to reach $26.6 billion by 2025. More than half a million acres of carbon-sequestering hemp are expected to be planted in the U.S. in 2021, according to Vote Hemp. Some domestically grown hemp is also used for the production of the non-psychoactive chemical cannabidiol, or CBD. Therefore, the plants might be ideally located in the “medicinal plants” section of the Botanic Garden.”
The lawmakers went on to say: “While this request is specific to displaying hemp plants, we note that more states and the federal government are beginning to legalize various forms of cannabis classified as marijuana. Last Congress, the House of Representatives passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2018, which would have descheduled all cannabis from the CSA. We expect similar legislation will be introduced in both the House and Senate in the 117th Congress.”
While it is unclear how the Botanic Garden will respond, we’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, Representatives Norton, Lee, and Blumenauer are additionally working together on an appropriations amendment to restrict the ability of the Department of Justice from using taxpayer dollars to shut down adult-use cannabis marketplaces and they need your help. Will you contact your federal lawmakers and tell them to protect our progress with just a few clicks?
You can learn more about hemp here and read the lawmakers full letter below.