A flag made from hemp will be flown at the Vermont statehouse to honor Constitution Day, the Associated Press reports.
The new legislation, passed by Vermont lawmakers earlier this year, removes barriers to hemp production in the state. Vermont joins eight other states with similar legislation on the books.
Vermont's rules currently stand at odds with federal policy. Although hemp fabric can be imported, federal law places restrictions on hemp cultivation in the United States, due to the plant's trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana. While industrial hemp contains an extremely low concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the Drug Enforcement Agency makes no distinction between recreational marijuana and its non-psychoactive cousin -- all cannabis plans are classified as Schedule I substances.
Under Vermont policy, farmers who want to grow the plant must register with the state and maintain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels below 0.3 percent.
"Vermont farmers are ready to lead the nation and considering the U.S. Justice Department’s recent marijuana ruling, many legal experts believe that the states have been given the green light in allowing hemp cultivation as their laws allow," Rural Vermont's Robb Kidd said in a statement regarding Tuesday's flag event.
The same flag set to fly in Montpelier flew over the United States Capitol on July 4 and over the Colorado statehouse on August 1. According to the Washington Post, Colorado farmer and hemp advocate Michael Bowman gave the flag to Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), who led the charge to get the flag flown over the U.S. Capitol.
“It’s a powerful symbol,” Bowman told the Post, noting that Betsy Ross' original Stars and Stripes were also made from hemp.