An American lawmaker has introduced the Hemp for Victory Act, a sweeping measure which aims to plow the ground for the nation’s hemp industry.
“My bill will lay the foundation for how we can optimize the hemp industry’s potential and ensure this opportunity benefits family farms and small businesses across America,” U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii said of her proposed law.
She said the measure is designed to incentivize family farmers and small businesses, protect against corporate monopolies, and study the benefits of hemp cultivation and hemp-based products while ensuring safe agricultural practices, and environmental and labor considerations.
‘Billion dollar impact’
“The hemp industry is poised to grow rapidly, having a billion dollar impact on the U.S. economy and creating thousands of jobs. Hemp-based materials have the potential to transform industries from health care to domestic manufacturing to affordable, sustainable housing construction, and more.” Gabbard said.
The Hemp for Victory Act of 2019 is named after the World War II-era effort to revitalize the U.S. hemp industry. Under the measure, several U.S. agencies, as well as land-grant universities would be involved in helping the hemp industry meet its potential across several sectors.
The bill calls on the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Defense, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency and Small Business Administration to conduct research and develop studies on the uses and benefits of hemp. That includes such things as toxic site cleanup and soil erosion control, sustainable and affordable housing, nutritional benefits to school lunches, healthcare benefits for veterans, and alternatives to single-use plastics.
Gabbard was an original cosponsor of H.R. 3530, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, a stand-alone bill in the 115th Congress which would have reclassified hemp as an agricultural crop. She supported H.R. 2, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 — more broadly referred to as “the Farm Bill” — which legalized the production of industrial hemp and put its regulation under the U.S. Department of Agriculture.