DES MOINES, Iowa -- A local organization is pushing for lawmakers to allow farmers to grow the cannabis plant legally.
The Iowa Hemp Association formed this year and is traveling Iowa on what it calls a statewide educational campaign.
“We are the only country in the industrialized world that doesn't grow the product, said Co-Founder Boris Scharansky. “All of that raw material is coming from Canada, Europe and China. Why can’t we be growing it here in Iowa alongside our corn and soy?”
The association’s members want people to understand the difference between hemp and marijuana. They say hemp has a lower THC level and is only used for clothing, beauty products and even fuel.
The group's main target is talking to farmers and so far it has stopped in several rural towns.
The group's goal is to legalize growing hemp by 2016. Organizers say growing hemp will not be a stepping stone towards legalizing marijuana across the country.