A bipartisan bill introduced in the House last week would allow individuals with drug convictions to obtain a hemp license. The 2018 Farm Bill, which expanded the federal government’s hemp legalization policies, prohibits people with a felony drug conviction within the past 10 years from cultivating hemp.
The measure, dubbed the Free to Grow Act, is backed by Republican Reps. Nancy Mace (S.C.) and David Joyce (OH), along with Democratic Reps. David Trone (MD) and Senior House Agriculture Committee Member Chellie Pingree (ME).
Pingree described the current policy, barring those with drug convictions, as a “discriminatory policy,” adding that the rules are stunting the hemp industry’s growth.
“The upcoming Farm Bill gives Congress a once-in-five-years opportunity to correct the unfair policy that bans people with drug convictions from growing hemp. I am proud to join Reps. Trone, Joyce, and Mace in that effort by introducing the Free to Grow Act, addressing this injustice and supporting a thriving hemp economy.” — Pingree in a press release
On Twitter, Trone said the bill would “give folks a real second chance.”
The legislation is endorsed by Americans for Prosperity, DREAM.Org, Drug Policy Alliance, Due Process Institute, Minorities for Medical Marijuana Cannabis & Hemp Policy, R. St Institute, and U.S. Hemp Roundtable.
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