Dear President Obama,
In January I received an email from you after your State of the Union address, as did millions of Americans.
Reading this, I was struck by five of your statements which I believe bear repeating:
1. “It is a future that is ours to decide, ours to define, and ours to win.
2. “We see an economy growing again.”
3. “Overcoming the challenges we face today requires a new vision for
4. “Moving forward, America’s economic growth at home is inextricably
connected to our competitiveness in the global community. The more
products American companies can export, the more jobs we can create at
5. “This vision for the future starts with innovation, tapping into the creativity and imagination of our people to create the jobs and industries of the future.”
The last two statements especially resonated with me where you mention the importance of creating innovative new products and utilizing our citizens to create “jobs and industries of the future.”
Mr. President if we want to stay competitive, to offer something to the world, and to provide a better life for the men, women and children of our nation – it is imperative that the federal government remove existing barriers and allow US farmers to once again grow Industrial Hemp.
More hemp is imported to the United States then any other country in the world – yet the United States Federal Government continues to prohibit its cultivation even though 20 states have introduced legislation that would allow Farmers to grow industrial hemp.
There are over 30 countries, including Canada, Great Britain, Spain, France, Germany, Romania and China (which is the world’s leading producer of hemp) that currently grow or have moved towards growing hemp as an agricultural/Industrial crop.
How are we supposed to compete with other countries if we cannot even grow the same commodities as they do? How do we step into the future with you when we are shackled with laws that prohibit new industries to grow?
In 2009 we imported roughly $340 Million worth of Hemp products into the United States. That is $340 Million that could have gone back into our economy, back into the pockets of the very people that you are asking to help build our nation.
$340 Million in terms of the economy is not that much, however the potential for growth is staggering.
According to Nathan Armstrong, President of Motive Industries Inc.,
“Out of the total Bio-Mass on Earth that is available, only 3.5% is actually used. And from that 3.5%, 70% is gone to make food and 2.5% is used to make plastics and chemicals. In terms of wealth about $400 Billion is generated out of the food side and about $400 Billion generated out of the plastics and chemicals side. So the potential for bio-materials in the market place is absolutely enormous.”
The modern hemp industry is extremely new. It has only been within the past 10-15 years that most countries have allowed their farmers to grow this plant. Innovation has been slow. Research has been slow.
That is up until now.