The Trump administration is expected to finally answer a WhiteHouse.gov petition on industrial hemp that garnered enough support to warrant an official response back in February.
“Industrial hemp was once a dominant crop on the American landscape. This hardy and renewable resource was refined for various industrial applications, including paper, textiles, and cordage,” reads the petition submitted by Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp. “We request that President Trump work with Congress to pass hemp legislation in 2017.”
Earlier this year the hemp petition earned more than 115,00 signatures on the federal government’s We The People site.
But even though the petition garnered more than the 100,00 signatures that, under a policy started by the Obama administration, was supposed to require an official response within 60 days, the Trump White House never replied. It also never responded to 16 other petitions that met the signature threshold.
But on Monday, the Washington Examiner and other new outlets reported that the Trump administration is relaunching the online petition tool next month and will begin issuing responses to those petitions that already got enough signatures. In the meantime, they will take the petition platform offline while changes are made.
“Following the site’s relaunch, petitions that have reached the required number of signatures will begin receiving responses,” an unnamed White House official told the Examiner. “All existing petitions and associated signatures have been preserved and will be available when the site is relaunched.”
The hemp petition points out that “over time, the use of industrial hemp has evolved into an even greater variety of products, including health foods, body care, clothing, auto parts, construction materials, biofuels, plastic composites and more.”
In 2012, the Obama administration’s drug czar dismissively responded to a similar hemp petition.