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From: Mike Dooley
Time: 8:30:01 PM
GOVERNOR JESSE VENTURA ANNOUNCES HEMP SEMINAR
Contact John Wodele: (651) 296-0001
(St. Paul, MN) Governor Ventura today announced that an informational seminar will be held on November 19, 1999, to reach individual farmers how to apply for a permit to grow industrial hemp.
The time and venue of the seminar will be announced in the next two weeks.
The informational seminar is in response to legislation passed by the 1999 Minnesota Legislature requiring the state to apply by September 30 for a federal permit to grow industrial hemp. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently informed Minnesota officials that a state cannot apply for a general blanket permit. Rather, individual farmers must apply directly to the DEA and the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy for a permit to grow experimental plots of industrial hemp.
Minnesota Agriculture Commissioners Gene Hugoson and Trade and Economic Development Commissioner Jerry Carlson will co-host the November 19 seminar, giving farmers tips on how to apply for the federal and state permits they will need to grow experimental plots.
They will also discuss any special conditions DEA has set for lawful cultivation of the crop.
The Governor also sent a letter to President Clinton today, in which he explained the state’s interest in industrial hemp production and the need for federal cooperation in the matter. With the continuing low prices for traditional commodities such as corn and soybeans, Governor Ventura said the seminar and letter represent another step toward the goal of providing profitable alternatives to Minnesota’s struggling agriculture community.
"Farmers are facing a lot of challenges right now, and it’s our role in state government to do what we can to give them the economic tools they need to succeed," Governor Ventura said. "We see industrial hemp as another item they might want to add to their toolbox. It may not be the answer for everyone, but it has potential as an alternative to traditional crops.
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