Will Vermont move forward with commercial hemp?
TreeHugger alumus, Mat McDermott, now writing at Motherboard, has an interview with Vermont Representative Teo Zagar about the progress that state has made in moving towards commercial hemp production:
MOTHERBOARD: Since Vermont already had a bill that would regulate hemp production, once the Feds legalized it, why are you introducing this bill--which strips out that delaying language--now?
When I joined the legislature last year, my first day driving to Montpelier, I'm on 89 heading north, not knowing what to expect. I didn't know what committee I'd be on. When I get there, the Speaker calls me into his office and says, "You're on Agriculture." I was surprised, but I was really pleasantly surprised because there's a lot new agriculture in my town. It's been totally transformed by that.
I go into the Ag committee room. There's this poster, from World War II, which says, "Grow Hemp for the War". I asked the committee chair what the deal is, in Vermont, with hemp. Obviously it's illegal federally, so no one does it, but we have a precedent with medical marijuana going around federal laws. So why isn't hemp being grown?