Public Release: 

Industrial hemp topic of lecture

American Society of Agronomy

Oct. 1, 2014--Hemp was once a staple crop in the United States. It is a sustainable crop, grown for food, fuel and fiber, like many other crops. But, once its biological cousin, marijuana, became widely used as a recreational drug, hemp became illegal in 1970, with the passing of the Controlled Substances Act.

However, the 2014 Farm Bill eased restrictions, and the first legal US crop was grown again at the University of Kentucky this past summer. In 2015, nineteen states may allow universities and state departments of agriculture to develop licensing programs to conduct hemp crop research.

Colleen Sauve, National Outreach Coordinator of Vote Hemp, will give a presentation about hemp's history, present dilemmas and future at the Grand Challenges, Great Solutions ASA, CSSA, SSSA International Annual Meetings in Long Beach, California, on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. The meeting is sponsored by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America.

"Hemp has the potential to be an important crop in the United States again," says Sauve. "It's a sustainable crop with a desirably short growth cycle. Unfortunately, due hemp's long-term illegality, we have to restore the framework of this industry if we hope to capture a portion of the $581 million dollars being spent on products derived from imported hemp. We hope to change that in this decade."

For more information about Grand Challenges, Great Solutions, visit https://www.acsmeetings.org/. Media are invited to attend the conference. Pre-registration by Oct. 20, 2014, is required. Visit https://www.acsmeetings.org/newsroom for registration information.

To speak with Ms. Sauve, contact Susan V. Fisk, 608-273-8091, sfisk@sciencesocieties.org to arrange an interview.

Contact: Susan V. Fisk, 608-273-8091, sfisk@sciencesocieties.org. Please RSVP by October 20, 2014

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