Written by Travis Koch, Posted: Thu, June 7 2012 at 5:26 PM, Updated: Thu, June 7 2012 at 6:05 PM
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden wants to remove industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana in the farm bill, S.3240, the agriculture reform, food, and job's act of 2012. That would essentially allow farmers to grow industrial hemp.
It's a move that would allow farmers in the US to once again grow hemp. A product that has been prohibited for fifty years and counting. The news isn't all that surprising to those who have seen similar legislation that failed in the past. In 2009, Oregon passed laws that allowed people to buy products that were made or contained hemp product , you just can grow it. With the economical situation that many Oregon timber counties are facing today, some think it's a good idea. It would be a renewable resource that Southern Oregon could abundantly grow given the climate. Today growing any hemp product in the United States is Federally illegal because it's lumped in with it's psychoactive cousin, marijuana. A schedule-one drug under the Controlled Substance Act set in place by congress. The hemp industry is valued at over $400 million in annual retail sales and growing. That has made it a top priority for one Oregon leader and struggling counties who look for ways to fill budget gaps left behind by timber funds that have dried up.
News at Sunrise Co-Anchor Travis Koch started his career as a filmmaker. He wrote and directed documentaries about traveling and extreme sports.
Among his many life experiences, he was a dog musher in Alaska and a baker in Minnesota. Travis began his career at NBC5 News as a weekend photographer and has continued to follow his dreams in television broadcasting and multimedia.