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In Vermont, at least one farmer in the state has announced plans to test the state’s new hemp law against the federal ban during next growing season.
Murphy doesn’t know any farmers who are presently violating the ban.
"None,” he says when asked how many farmers are engaged in civil disobedience around the hemp issue, “though we have read that there is an activist in Colorado who is growing what is claimed to be hemp without a state permit."
And other states seem poised to join the nine that have moved to lift hemp restrictions.
California is one of those states. But amidst optimism there’s room for caution. The state’s been down that path before. According to NORML, California passed a similar hemp law in 1999 that’s effectively lain dormant thanks to state inaction. And a state legislative effort to legalize hemp in 2011 ran into the roadblock of Gov. Jerry Brown’s veto pen.
Murphy says Vote Hemp is optimistic about the future of what Canada’s government calls “the world's premier renewable resource.”
"Yes, with the passage of the Polis hemp amendment to the House version of the Farm Bill by a vote of 225 to 200, as well as the passage of Amendment 64 in Colorado and Initiative 502 in Washington state,” says Murphy, “we at Vote Hemp are now more optimistic about the renewal of hemp farming and processing in the U.S. since our formation thirteen years ago."