NoDak Hempsters Moving Forward

Hemp growing in Canada
Hemp growing in Canada (by Photo by Scott T. Samson)

Although it is unclear whether farmers in North Dakota will be able to cultivate industrial hemp next year, the state's agricultural commissioner, Roger Johnson, is now accepting applications from farmers interested in receiving a state license to grow the plant. Hemp, the non-narcotic cousin of marijuana is a sustainable addition to crop rotation and is used to make everything from paper and fabric, to car parts, skin care products, and foods.

The crop was a staple of the American landscape until the 1960s, when federal narcos decided it should be banned – hemp is dope and therefore illegal, they argue. Two NoDak farmers – Dave Monson and Wayne Hauge– are fighting the Drug Enforcement Administration on that point, arguing that they have no power to regulate their state's purely intrastate commerce, and, moreover, that the Controlled Substances Act exempts the non-narcotic portions of the cannabis plant from their regulatory control. Monson and Hauge were the first two licensed by Johnson to plant the crop, but have thus far been unable to do so. They've sued the DEA and are waiting for a ruling from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Their licenses, Johnson told the Jamestown Sun, have been renewed.

Although Johnson previously told state farmers to hold off in applying for the hemp growing licenses he has now reopened the process, which includes state and federal criminal background checks. Applications are due Jan. 1 he says. "Although the [DEA] continues to prevent holders of state licenses from growing industrial hemp, [NoDak Dept. of Agriculture] remains committed to fully implementing state laws authorizing the production, processing and sale of this crop in North Dakota."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Industrial Hemp
Hempsters Take D.C.
Hempsters Take D.C.
Hempsters deliver bag of seed to U.S. Attorney General

Jordan Smith, May 19, 2010

Court Says No to Hemp
Court Says No to Hemp
After years of legal wrangling, appeals court rules against North Dakota farmers

Jordan Smith, Dec. 23, 2009

More by Jordan Smith
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
Motoreum's Yusuf & Antonio talk about the biz and their reality TV debut

May 22, 2014

APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
Musical chairs at Downtown HQ

May 9, 2014

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Dave Monson, Roger Johnson, industrial hemp, DEA

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle