Three members of Congress have sent a letter to the executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Botanic Garden seeking to have hemp plants on display. The letter was sent by Democratic Reps. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Barbara Lee (CA), and Earl Blumenauer (OR).
If approved, it would be the first time the Botanic Garden would display cannabis in its collection.
“Hemp has a long history of cultivation in the U.S. Hemp was grown by most of the Founders, and in 2018, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate harvested its first hemp crop since 1799. All ships in every war prior to World War II had ropes and sails made from hemp grown in the U.S. Until the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which was found to be unconstitutional in 1969, hemp was a major agricultural commodity in the U.S. Given that hemp is legal and enjoys national, bipartisan support, now is an appropriate time for the Botanic Garden to display hemp plants.” – Reps. Norton, Lee, and Blumenauer in the April 20 letter
Blumenauer is one of the founding members of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus and Lee joined the group during the 116th Congress after Jared Polis left Congress following his successful bid for governor of Colorado.
The letter notes that hemp was federally legalized in 2018 following the passage of the Farm Bill.
“The market has grown exponentially since the implementation of the pilot programs and some expect the market to reach $26.6 billion by 2025,” the letter states, noting the differences between industrial hemp and THC-rich cannabis – which remains federally outlawed.
The representatives have asked for a response to the request by May 4.
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