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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: May 31, 2019 11:33 AM
From: Senator Sharif Street
To: All Senate members
Subject: Resolution to Recognize the First Week of June 2019 as National Hemp History Week
On Monday, June 3, 2019, I will introduce a resolution to recognize the first week of June 2019 as National Hemp History Week.

America, and Pennsylvania in particular, has a rich history of cultivating hemp for a wide range of uses, including within the United States Military which depended on the use of hemp fiber during each world war. However, shortly after the Second World War, industrial hemp fell out of favor in the United States. Many put the hemp plant in the same category as marijuana and people began to erroneously attribute marijuana psychotropic effects to industrial hemp even though industrial hemp does not contain enough tetrahydrocannabinol to produce the same effects as marijuana.

Nevertheless, the federal government taxed it so heavily in The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 that industrial hemp became obsolete. The federal government later passed the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 which made the transfer and possession of hemp illegal.

Last year, after decades of prohibition, industrial hemp was legalized with the passage of the 2018 Federal Farm Bill. Now the industry is returning to Pennsylvania, with 33 license holders cultivating hemp on almost 600 acres of Pennsylvania farm land last year. Nationally, the hemp industry has already reaped over $390 million in revenues since the passage of the Farm Bill.

National Hemp History Week is one of America’s largest educational campaigns about industrial hemp, which is supported by many industrial hemp industry leaders, farmers and advocates. I urge you to join me in co-sponsoring this resolution recognizing National Hemp History Week in Pennsylvania to acknowledge and promote the rich history and benefits of industrial hemp in our Commonwealth.

If you have questions, please contact my Policy Director, Micah Mahjoubian, at micah@pasenate.com.

Introduced as SR144