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I had the pleasure today to meet Jason Amatucci.  Jason is the founder of the Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition.  Now I found a bill (HB1277) that authorizes Virginia to allow the legal harvesting of industrial hemp when the Federal Government authorizes it.

Industrial hemp is not marijuana.  But it is the same plant designed to grow with a lower amount of the active chemical in pot.  It was used to make rope in the Second World War.  Here’s some fascinating facts about hemp at this site (North American Industrial Hemp Council, Inc.):

*George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp. Ben Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper. Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper.

*When US sources of “Manila hemp” (not true hemp) was cut off by the Japanese in WWII, the US Army and US Department of Agriculture promoted the “Hemp for Victory” campaign to grow hemp in the US.

*Because of its importance for sails (the word “canvass” is rooted in “cannabis”) and rope for ships, hemp was a required crop in the American colonies.


*Kimberly Clark (on the Fortune 500) has a mill in France which produces hemp paper preferred for bibles because it lasts a very long time and doesn’t yellow.

HB1277 has a eclectic group of patrons:

Patrons– Yost, Fariss, Adams, Austin, Campbell, Carr, Davis, Edmunds, Fowler, Hester, Hope, Krupicka, Marshall, D.W., Morrissey, O’Bannon, Peace, Pogge, Rasoul, Robinson, Rush, Simon, Spruill, Taylor and Villanueva

It is interesting that it has a bipartisan following.  I see Del. Adams, Buddy Fowler, and my delegate, Chris Peace as well as Democrats such as Betsy B. Carr, Daun S. Hester, K. Rob Krupicka and Sam Rasoul.  I am not yet totally sold on the idea but if Peace, Fowler and Adams are for it I think I can go along with it.  I do think the Commonwealth ought to be ready to allow Virginians to get into the act.  Jason told me today that Kentucky is ready to be a leader in hemp production. Can’t let our daughter state get all the business!

I thank Jason for his leadership on this issue.

And why was Sandy at the Capitol today?  You’ll find out probably Tuesday…

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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