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Spiritual Growth Prayer | Marijuana Anonymous Phone Meetings

Higher Power,
May my development as a spiritual person
temper my habitual hankerings for material security.
May I understand that the only real security in life is spiritual.
If I have faith in my Higher Power, these revisions in my attitudes will follow.
May I grow first in spiritual awareness.
Amen

 

Spiritual Growth Prayer | Marijuana Anonymous Phone Meetings

Higher Power,
May my development as a spiritual person
temper my habitual hankerings for material security.
May I understand that the only real security in life is spiritual.
If I have faith in my Higher Power, these revisions in my attitudes will follow.
May I grow first in spiritual awareness.
Amen

 

White House Lifts Research Restrictions on Medical Marijuana

Uncle Sam is finally offering researchers a more assessable approach to studying the medicinal benefits of marijuana. On Monday, the Obama Administration announced that it would no longer force the scientific community to endure some of the bureaucratic red tape that has prevented many of them from studying the potential health benefits of the herb for nearly 20 years.

In an official notice, which is expected to be published on Tuesday, the White House said that it is eliminating the necessity for researchers to undergo a separate Public Health Service Review—a process that has been required since 1999 as part of the approval requirements for marijuana research. 

Reports indicate the decision was made to eliminate this obstacle because the current politics surrounding medical marijuana have overshadowed the necessity for these guidelines.

“The Obama Administration has actively supported scientific research on whether marijuana or its components can be safe and effective medicine,” Mario Zepeda, a spokesperson for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), told The Huffington Post. “Eliminating the Public Health Service review should help facilitate additional research to advance our understanding of both the adverse effects and potential therapeutic uses for marijuana or its components.”

Researchers have said for years that the process of seeking approval to study marijuana was a veritable pulling-of-the-teeth in desperate need of simplification. Even some of marijuana’s most infamous opposing forces have come forward recently to suggest that more needs to be done to better facilitate the exploration of this plant.

As we learned earlier this year in the case of Dr. Sue Sisley—who recently received federal approval to begin studying the effects of marijuana on post traumatic stress disorder—the procedures for obtaining a green light for an undertaking of this manner is a grueling affair that can take several years. 

Not only have researchers been forced to undergo the Public Health Service review, but they also are at the mercy of the National Institute on Drug Abuse for a supply of their standards. However, drug policy experts suggest that with the introduction of highly publicized proposals, like the CARERS Act and several amendments aimed at crippling the powers of the DEA against medical marijuana states, the Obama Administration has been working to assemble progressive policies that they insist will lead to more exciting levels of reform in the near future.

“This announcement shows that the White House is ready to move away from the war on medical marijuana and enable the performance of legitimate and necessary research,” Bill Piper, Director of Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs, said.

Although medical marijuana advocates are encouraged by the lifting of the Public Health Service Review, they claim more needs to be done, like eliminating NIDA’s monopoly on marijuana production, as well as downgrading the Schedule I classification of the cannabis plant under the Controlled Substances Act.

“Given what the president and surgeon general have already said publicly about marijuana’s relative harms and medical uses, it’s completely inappropriate for it to remain in a schedule that’s supposed to be reserved for substances with a high potential for abuse and no therapeutic value,” said Tom Angell, with the Marijuana Majority.

Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.

(Photo Courtesy of SF Evergreen)

White House Lifts Research Restrictions on Medical Marijuana

Uncle Sam is finally offering researchers a more assessable approach to studying the medicinal benefits of marijuana. On Monday, the Obama Administration announced that it would no longer force the scientific community to endure some of the bureaucratic red tape that has prevented many of them from studying the potential health benefits of the herb for nearly 20 years.

In an official notice, which is expected to be published on Tuesday, the White House said that it is eliminating the necessity for researchers to undergo a separate Public Health Service Review—a process that has been required since 1999 as part of the approval requirements for marijuana research. 

Reports indicate the decision was made to eliminate this obstacle because the current politics surrounding medical marijuana have overshadowed the necessity for these guidelines.

“The Obama Administration has actively supported scientific research on whether marijuana or its components can be safe and effective medicine,” Mario Zepeda, a spokesperson for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), told The Huffington Post. “Eliminating the Public Health Service review should help facilitate additional research to advance our understanding of both the adverse effects and potential therapeutic uses for marijuana or its components.”

Researchers have said for years that the process of seeking approval to study marijuana was a veritable pulling-of-the-teeth in desperate need of simplification. Even some of marijuana’s most infamous opposing forces have come forward recently to suggest that more needs to be done to better facilitate the exploration of this plant.

As we learned earlier this year in the case of Dr. Sue Sisley—who recently received federal approval to begin studying the effects of marijuana on post traumatic stress disorder—the procedures for obtaining a green light for an undertaking of this manner is a grueling affair that can take several years. 

Not only have researchers been forced to undergo the Public Health Service review, but they also are at the mercy of the National Institute on Drug Abuse for a supply of their standards. However, drug policy experts suggest that with the introduction of highly publicized proposals, like the CARERS Act and several amendments aimed at crippling the powers of the DEA against medical marijuana states, the Obama Administration has been working to assemble progressive policies that they insist will lead to more exciting levels of reform in the near future.

“This announcement shows that the White House is ready to move away from the war on medical marijuana and enable the performance of legitimate and necessary research,” Bill Piper, Director of Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs, said.

Although medical marijuana advocates are encouraged by the lifting of the Public Health Service Review, they claim more needs to be done, like eliminating NIDA’s monopoly on marijuana production, as well as downgrading the Schedule I classification of the cannabis plant under the Controlled Substances Act.

“Given what the president and surgeon general have already said publicly about marijuana’s relative harms and medical uses, it’s completely inappropriate for it to remain in a schedule that’s supposed to be reserved for substances with a high potential for abuse and no therapeutic value,” said Tom Angell, with the Marijuana Majority.

Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.

(Photo Courtesy of SF Evergreen)

7 States On the Verge of Marijuana Legalization

Source: Mark Piscotty/Getty Images

Source: Mark Piscotty/Getty Images

2012 and 2014 were both incredibly important years for marijuana legalization. Colorado and Washington both passed initiatives to decriminalize and legalize cannabis by popular vote in 2012, and since then, have both opened the first legal marijuana markets in the U.S. Legal retail sales began this year, and so far things have settled into place, albeit slowly.

The 2014 midterms saw legalization sweep over more areas of the country, including Oregon, Alaska and Washington D.C. For now, it looks as if the west coast is epicenter of the movement, but that may change in 2016.

“)};

Many states are following Washington and Colorado’s path, getting closer and closer to legalization every election cycle. So far, legalization advocates have had to rely on voter-backed initiatives to get legislation passed, as the federal government seems as though it still won’t budge on reclassifying cannabis out of its current Schedule 1 status. Local governments across the country have taken baby steps towards ending prohibition, with many cities passing ordinances that either have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana or marked them as a lowest priority for law enforcement officials.

Many people are still struggling with the concept of legalized marijuana. For decades and generations, Americans grew accustomed to knowing marijuana as a powerful and dangerous drug — one that could lead to deaths and criminal behavior if it was allowed in their community. The past decade has really opened up a lot of people’s eyes to the facts, which almost wholly dismiss those worries. The medical marijuana communities in several states have also shown the immense benefits cannabis can have for the sick, which is one of many factors that have led to a seismic shift in public opinion regarding marijuana legalization.

Presently, we sit on the precipice of more states preparing for coming marijuana legalization initiatives, either derived from state legislators or from citizens themselves through the ballots. Colorado and Washington kicked-off the whole thing, and have since been joined by a few others. That doesn’t mean that a slew of other states aren’t on the cusp, however.

Here are seven states that are preparing for legalization pushes of their own, hot on the heels of Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska and Washington D.C. Several of these states of ballot initiatives set for 2016, so we could less than two short years away from seeing their aspirations for marijuana legalization become a reality.

adverse effects

1. Cannabinoid therapy shows modest efficacy in reducing chronic pain, spasticity, and nausea and vomiting symptoms in patients.

2. Cannabinoid therapy is associated with numerous short-term adverse effects; long-term adverse effects have not yet been assessed in large trials.

Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)       

Study Rundown: Medical cannabinoids are cannabinoid-derived substances that are used to alleviate medical symptoms, usually in chronically-ill patients. This systematic review sought to evaluate the evidence for the benefits and adverse effects of medical cannabinoids. Results showed that there is statistically non-significant evidence that cannabinoids may be beneficial in chronic pain and spasticity. The evidence for cannabinoid efficacy for other symptoms, such as nausea/vomiting, low appetite, and psychiatric disorders was less clear, with few studies available for data analysis.

Strengths of this study included the rigorous evaluation of potential studies performed by the authors when choosing which studies to incorporate in the systematic review. Seventy-nine RCTs were included and they evaluated the data for a variety of cannabinoid therapy indications. However, there were many weaknesses associated with this study. Primarily, there was significant heterogeneity among the RCTs included and majority had high-risk of internal bias. Furthermore, the majority of the studies lacked the power to detect a statistical significance in efficacy and for many of the medical indications included in this systematic review, there were just too few studies to extract any valuable information from the conclusions. Nevertheless, studies assessing the efficacy of cannabinoids in a variety of symptoms are still in its infancy and more knowledge will be gained as we continue to conduct larger trials focusing on cannabinoid therapy in medical practice.

Click to read the study, published today in JAMA

Click to read an accompanying editorial, published today in JAMA

Relevant Reading: The medicinal use of cannabis and cannabinoids – an international cross-sectional study on administration forms.

In-Depth [systematic review]: This systematic review looked at 79 randomized controlled trials and uncontrolled trials (with 25 participants) that evaluated the efficacy and adverse effects of medical cannabinoid use. Appropriate medical indications for cannabinoid use in these studies included nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, appetite stimulation in HIV/AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity from paraplegia or multiple sclerosis, increased intraocular pressure in glaucoma, Tourette’s syndrome, and depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders.

For nausea and vomiting, three trials showed greater resolution of symptoms from cannabinoids as compared with placebo (OR 3.82, 95%CI 1.55-9.42). The comparison between cannabinoids and active controls showed a greater benefit from the former, but did not reach clinical significance. For appetite stimulation in HIV/AIDS infection, cannabinoids were more effective than placebo but one trial comparing them to megastrol acetate showed greater benefit from the latter. For chronic pain, reduction of pain was on average, 30% greater with cannabinoids vs. placebo (OR 1.41, 95%CI 0.99-2.00). For spasticity, some of the studies showed improvement with cannabinoids but the data did not reach statistical significance. Too few studies were available to assess the efficacy of cannabinoids in depression, anxiety, psychosis, sleep disorders, glaucoma, and Tourette’s. A total of 29 out of 3714 participants (0.7%) experienced adverse effects of cannabinoids. Significant adverse effects included GI disorders, psychiatric and nervous system disorders, vertigo/dizziness, dry mouth, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, somnolence, drowsiness, confusion, euphoria, and hallucinations.

Image: PD

©2015 2 Minute Medicine, Inc. All rights reserved. No works may be reproduced without expressed written consent from 2 Minute Medicine, Inc. Inquire about licensing here. No article should be construed as medical advice and is not intended as such by the authors or by 2 Minute Medicine, Inc.



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Spiritual Growth Prayer | Marijuana Anonymous Phone Meetings

Higher Power,
May my development as a spiritual person
temper my habitual hankerings for material security.
May I understand that the only real security in life is spiritual.
If I have faith in my Higher Power, these revisions in my attitudes will follow.
May I grow first in spiritual awareness.
Amen

 

White House Lifts Research Restrictions on Medical Marijuana

Uncle Sam is finally offering researchers a more assessable approach to studying the medicinal benefits of marijuana. On Monday, the Obama Administration announced that it would no longer force the scientific community to endure some of the bureaucratic red tape that has prevented many of them from studying the potential health benefits of the herb for nearly 20 years.

In an official notice, which is expected to be published on Tuesday, the White House said that it is eliminating the necessity for researchers to undergo a separate Public Health Service Review—a process that has been required since 1999 as part of the approval requirements for marijuana research. 

Reports indicate the decision was made to eliminate this obstacle because the current politics surrounding medical marijuana have overshadowed the necessity for these guidelines.

“The Obama Administration has actively supported scientific research on whether marijuana or its components can be safe and effective medicine,” Mario Zepeda, a spokesperson for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), told The Huffington Post. “Eliminating the Public Health Service review should help facilitate additional research to advance our understanding of both the adverse effects and potential therapeutic uses for marijuana or its components.”

Researchers have said for years that the process of seeking approval to study marijuana was a veritable pulling-of-the-teeth in desperate need of simplification. Even some of marijuana’s most infamous opposing forces have come forward recently to suggest that more needs to be done to better facilitate the exploration of this plant.

As we learned earlier this year in the case of Dr. Sue Sisley—who recently received federal approval to begin studying the effects of marijuana on post traumatic stress disorder—the procedures for obtaining a green light for an undertaking of this manner is a grueling affair that can take several years. 

Not only have researchers been forced to undergo the Public Health Service review, but they also are at the mercy of the National Institute on Drug Abuse for a supply of their standards. However, drug policy experts suggest that with the introduction of highly publicized proposals, like the CARERS Act and several amendments aimed at crippling the powers of the DEA against medical marijuana states, the Obama Administration has been working to assemble progressive policies that they insist will lead to more exciting levels of reform in the near future.

“This announcement shows that the White House is ready to move away from the war on medical marijuana and enable the performance of legitimate and necessary research,” Bill Piper, Director of Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs, said.

Although medical marijuana advocates are encouraged by the lifting of the Public Health Service Review, they claim more needs to be done, like eliminating NIDA’s monopoly on marijuana production, as well as downgrading the Schedule I classification of the cannabis plant under the Controlled Substances Act.

“Given what the president and surgeon general have already said publicly about marijuana’s relative harms and medical uses, it’s completely inappropriate for it to remain in a schedule that’s supposed to be reserved for substances with a high potential for abuse and no therapeutic value,” said Tom Angell, with the Marijuana Majority.

Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.

(Photo Courtesy of SF Evergreen)

7 States On the Verge of Marijuana Legalization

Source: Mark Piscotty/Getty Images

Source: Mark Piscotty/Getty Images

2012 and 2014 were both incredibly important years for marijuana legalization. Colorado and Washington both passed initiatives to decriminalize and legalize cannabis by popular vote in 2012, and since then, have both opened the first legal marijuana markets in the U.S. Legal retail sales began this year, and so far things have settled into place, albeit slowly.

The 2014 midterms saw legalization sweep over more areas of the country, including Oregon, Alaska and Washington D.C. For now, it looks as if the west coast is epicenter of the movement, but that may change in 2016.

“)};

Many states are following Washington and Colorado’s path, getting closer and closer to legalization every election cycle. So far, legalization advocates have had to rely on voter-backed initiatives to get legislation passed, as the federal government seems as though it still won’t budge on reclassifying cannabis out of its current Schedule 1 status. Local governments across the country have taken baby steps towards ending prohibition, with many cities passing ordinances that either have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana or marked them as a lowest priority for law enforcement officials.

Many people are still struggling with the concept of legalized marijuana. For decades and generations, Americans grew accustomed to knowing marijuana as a powerful and dangerous drug — one that could lead to deaths and criminal behavior if it was allowed in their community. The past decade has really opened up a lot of people’s eyes to the facts, which almost wholly dismiss those worries. The medical marijuana communities in several states have also shown the immense benefits cannabis can have for the sick, which is one of many factors that have led to a seismic shift in public opinion regarding marijuana legalization.

Presently, we sit on the precipice of more states preparing for coming marijuana legalization initiatives, either derived from state legislators or from citizens themselves through the ballots. Colorado and Washington kicked-off the whole thing, and have since been joined by a few others. That doesn’t mean that a slew of other states aren’t on the cusp, however.

Here are seven states that are preparing for legalization pushes of their own, hot on the heels of Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska and Washington D.C. Several of these states of ballot initiatives set for 2016, so we could less than two short years away from seeing their aspirations for marijuana legalization become a reality.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

1. Massachusetts

One of those states that is gearing up for a 2016 ballot initiative is the New England liberal stronghold of Massachusetts. Residents of Massachusetts aren’t afraid to be trailblazers, as they have installed sweeping healthcare reforms under then-governor Mitt Romney, and were the first state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage. Now, marijuana legalization advocates are gearing up for the next big public fight: ending cannabis prohibition.

The groundwork has already been started, and over the next two years, residents can likely expect similar political battles to break out over the topic heading into the next election cycle. “In 2016, Massachusetts will find itself in the crosshairs for cannabis reform,” Allen St. Pierre, the executive director of NORML, told The Boston Globe. The referendum has been filed, and advocates are moving forward with hopes of having Massachusetts seeing green by 2016.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

2. California

Perhaps the biggest domino on the board that could drastically change the national landscape in terms of prohibition is California. If Oregon and California are both able to pass legalization measures, then the entirety of the U.S. west coast would be comprised of states that have ended prohibition, creating a Mecca of sorts for cannabis fans. Of course, California is the most populous — and probably most demographically complicated — state in the union.

California represents one of the world’s largest economies all on its own, and if cannabis is legalized, it will have a dramatic effect across the country. The state is already home to one of the most robust medical marijuana markets in the world, so the state’s residents aren’t exactly unfamiliar with the product either. Although it’s not expected to reach the ballot until 2016, the wheels are in motion to make California one of the next states to end marijuana prohibition.

St.-Louis-Hulton-Archive-Getty-Images.jpg

Source: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

3. Missouri

Perhaps the most surprising state that may end up seeing a marijuana legalization option on 2016’s ballot is Missouri. Situated at the crossroads of the South and the Midwest, Missouri tends to have a much more conservative lean than the west coast and northeastern states that are moving forward with marijuana legalization. But alas, there is a movement underway in the Show-Me state.

“Opinions on marijuana legalization have been shifting for the past twenty years and dramatically so in just the past six to seven years,” John Payne, executive director of Show-Me Cannabis told The Riverfront Times. Payne is one of the leaders attempting to get a measure on the ballot for 2016, but needs signatures from 8% of voters in Missouri’s eight congressional districts. The state was looking at getting the issue on the ballot for 2014, but gave up after it was found that support wasn’t quite where they needed it. With more states jumping on the legalization train following 2014’s election cycle, perhaps more Missourians will change their mind as well.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

4. Hawaii

Staying out west — way out west, that is — Hawaii should be one of a handful of states to opt for legalization. Hawaiians are famous for growing some of the most famous marijuana in the world, and it’s a plant that is fairly heavily ingrained in the island culture. Although legalization efforts have been stopped short thus far, it’s hard to believe that prohibition laws will remain intact very much longer, especially considering Hawaii’s fiercely independent ideals regarding self-reliance and governance.

A bill to legalize was brought before legislators earlier this year, although it died shortly thereafter. Once again, it looks like the voters of the state will need to pass a voter-backed initiative in order for legalization to happen. Legislators will most likely need to take a close look at the revenue Colorado and Washington are bringing in to sway them back to the idea, and with the amount of tourists the state sees annually, there’s a lot of potential for heavy tax revenues that could be convincing.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

5. Maine 

Far from the western states that seem to dominate the legalization discussion, the northeastern bastion of Maine is also sitting pretty, getting ready to mount legalization efforts of its own. There was recently enough signatures collected to give the movement some momentum, and several cities across the state are looking at decriminalization efforts as well.

If Maine is able to pass legalization legislation, then some of its New England counterparts may follow suit as well. There are already groups working in states like Vermont to get initiative on state ballots, and if Maine is able to kick over the first domino in the northeast, it should do nothing but help. As David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project told local news affiliate WCSH6, “we have bigger fish to fry. There’s violent crimes going on, there’s property crimes, and that is where our police resources should be spent.”

Source: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

6. Nevada

Residents of Nevada apparently don’t feel like getting left behind as the entire west coast prepares itself for legalization, so some residents are gearing up for a potential 2016 ballot initiative that will follow suit. The process started earlier this year, with members of the state legislature along with resident advocates starting to gather signatures in preparation for a stab at the 2016 election cycle.

Nevada could benefit greatly from the amount of tourists who may be interested in giving a newly-minted legal marijuana market a shot, especially in tourism-driven cities like Las Vegas and Reno. According to local NBC affiliate KSNV, a new law would allow use by adults over the age of 21, and for possession of one ounce of dried flower. A 15 percent wholesale tax would also be instituted, funding K-12 education in the state. “If we do this right, this will be a major boom to tourism, which is our economy,” state senator Richard Segerblom said, speaking with KSNV.

“I wanted to be the first, let’s put it that way,” he added.

phoenix-arizona.jpg

Source: Thinkstock.com

7. Arizona

Just south of Nevada, Arizona may be looking to get in on the marijuana legalization party as well. Another state, like Missouri, with a much more conservative mentality than the other states moving forward with legalization measures, Arizona is in a unique spot to benefit as it lies on the border with Mexico, and could ultimately share borders with two states that may end prohibition in 2016 — California and Nevada. Supporters have filed the paperwork, and it looks as though residents are aiming for a law modeled after Colorado’s approach.

Of course, Arizona’s location on the border will likely lead to incredible opposition to any legalization attempts as well. Law enforcement is famous for being rather intense in the state, and illegal immigration and drug trafficking has long been a problem there. The state does have medical marijuana laws already on the books, which serve about 50,000 residents according to AZ Central. But the paperwork has been filed, and an effort is underway. If one state’s initiatives will be interesting to watch over the next couple of years, it’ll be Arizona’s.

Follow Sam on Twitter @Sliceofginger

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Legislature legalizes industrial hemp in Maine | Sun Journal

AUGUSTA — A new law allowing hemp cultivation for commercial uses in Maine is in effect now that the Legislature has overridden a veto by Gov. Paul LePage.

“I am absolutely thrilled that this is now law,” said Rep. Deborah Sanderson, R-Chelsea, who sponsored LD 4 to legalize hemp cultivation for industrial uses.

“This was overwhelmingly overridden,” she said Monday of the veto. “It got big support in both the House and the Senate. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle really showed their support for it.”

LePage’s veto was overridden in the House on May 12 by a vote of 135 in favor, 6 opposed and 10 members absent. The Senate also voted to override the veto on June 16, by a vote of 28 in favor and 6 opposed. The emergency legislation will go into effect immediately, Sanderson said Monday, so that growers can get their seeds into the ground as early into summer as possible.

The law allows growers to purchase hemp seeds from any certified seed source, rather than only approved Canadian producers, as originally introduced in the first version of the bill.

Farmers, organic growers, agricultural researchers and community members threw their support behind the bill when it was first introduced by Sanderson. The representative said the measure would open new opportunities for farmers and would provide local sourcing for many products made from hemp.

Hemp fibers can be used in making textiles, paper, insulation, building materials and composites for auto bodies.

At the same time, hemp can be controversial because hemp fibers and marijuana come from the same family of plants, which is why hemp still is considered a drug under federal law. Supporters pointed out, though, that the variety of Cannabis sativa used for industrial hemp contains far less of the chemical ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is responsible for the high that marijuana users feel.

Three states — Colorado, Kentucky and Vermont — have legalized industrial hemp and have research crops planted, according to Vote Hemp, an organization seeking the full normalization of and a free market for industrial hemp in the United States.

During a public hearing on the bill in the State House on Feb. 10 this year, none of the 10 people who testified spoke against the measure.

Jon Olson of the Maine Farm Bureau testified that the cultivation of industrial hemp was discussed at an Aroostook County Farm Bureau meeting, and farmers felt that it could be another “value added” crop they could grow and add to their rotation.

Though she testified neither for nor against the bill, Ann Gibbs, acting director of the animal and plant health division for the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, noted that hemp is classified as a “drug” under the Federal Controlled Substance Act. That means any production is strictly controlled and hemp cannot be grown legally without a permit from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Currently, the DEA has issued permits only to the state Department of Agriculture or to universities for research.

She added that DEA restrictions may make it difficult for Maine producers to import certified hemp seed for commercial use, which may hinder planting efforts.

The law calls for licensing fees that should be “reasonable and necessary to cover the costs of the department” and would be set at the discretion of the Maine Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

Heather Spalding, deputy director of the Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association, who testified in support of the bill, said Monday that she had not yet heard of any growers who planned to plant hemp seed. She said she thought they were waiting to read and study the new law before deciding on a growing plan.