With Oregon passing a hemp bill (SB 676) last Monday permitting production and possession of industrial hemp in their state, farmers and eco-designers alike are probably freaking out from all the possibilities at hand. The move is part of a rapidly growing nationwide trend to liberalize laws relating to marijuana. Hemp is a botanical cousin of marijuana.
Bill sponsor, Senator Floyd Prozanski was quoted by Vote Hemp saying “By passing SB 676 with strong bi-partisan support, the Oregon legislature has taken a proactive position to allow its farmers the right to grow industrial hemp, to provide American manufacturers with domestically-grown hemp, and to profit from the effort.”
Until now, only five other states – Maine, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana and West Virginia – have legalized hemp production, making it hard for eco-designers to get hemp fibers for clothing at a reasonable price (not to mention being able to support an American grown textile).
Hemp is one of the most useful fibers known to man with over 25,000 uses from creating clothing to car manufacturing. (It’s too bad hemp production is banned in most place largely thanks to misunderstanding and outright myth.) The fibers themselves are stronger, more absorbent and more mildew-resistant than cotton and can block the sun’s UV rays more effectively than other fabrics. It can also be made into a variety of fabrics including a linen quality.
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