By Steve Elliott
Nebraska won't be harvesting a legal hemp crop this fall, despite the Legislature's passage of a law allowing the cultivation of industrial hemp for research. State bureaucrats at the Nebraska Department of Agriculture are still working on the rules.
The bill in question, LB 1001, tasked the state agriculture department with devising rules and regulations for hemp cultivation in the Cornhusker State, reports Nicholas Bergin at the Lincoln Journal Star. The department is still researching hemp programs in other states, but won't have their ducks -- or maybe I should say hemp plants -- in a row in time for spring planting.
"There will be no hemp research projects initiated under a program this year," said spokeswoman Christin Kamm of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. Kamm didn't say when the first crop might be planted.
The industrial hemp bill, which passed overwhelmingly on a 39-2 vote, will allow the University of Nebraska and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture to grow hemp, a variety of cannabis that unlike recreational marijuana does not contain enough THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) to produce a high.
By Kristin Jirovsky/Daily Sun
LINCOLN -- The three Nebraska U.S. Senate candidates discussed their views on ethanol as a renewable fuel source Thursday during a forum at the Mary Riepma-Ross Media Arts Center in Lincoln.
Before the forum, Mike Johanns, Scott Kleeb and Steve Larrick watched with several Lincolnites a video entitled, “The Ethanol Maze.” The film was a project completed by students of a depth reporting journalism class taught at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Each prospective senator then took his turn to share views on ethanol as an option for alternative fuel.
Kleeb, a Democrat, was up first, saying he is a supporter of using corn-based ethanol for alternative fuel.
“This debate is going to be increasingly important,” Kleeb said.
Most of all, Kleeb said that ethanol should be the first piece of the puzzle in reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil.
Kleeb posed a question to the event attendees. In 2005, the energy bill was passed that promised a lessened dependence on foreign oil and lower prices for fuel.
“Which of these have we gotten?” he said.
“I do think we need to have higher fuel efficiency standards for motor vehicles,” he said.
Green Party candidate Steve Larrick stepped up to the podium next.
“I like the open discussion the film provided,” he said. “We do need to look at all of the issues.”
Larrick went to a more “green” side of the debate. He said the best thing to do is look at the options for cellulosic ethanol.