There’s been a lot going on with industrial hemp in the USA since the start of February – here’s a summary of some of the stories we haven’t yet covered in detail.
In Arizona, a bill to enable Arizona farmers to grow industrial hemp was approved by a Senate committee in a 6-1 vote. However, it still needs to clear the Senate Appropriations Committee, then the House of Representatives.
In New Mexico, the House passed a bill that would decriminalize industrial hemp, by removing it from from the state’s list of controlled substances. House Bill 166 (HB166) would treat industrial hemp like other plants and a license would not be required to grow it. HB166 now moves on to the Senate for consideration.
In Colorado, the state Senate voted in favor of bill that would see the Colorado Department of Agriculture study the feasibility using hemp in animal feed, a practice that is currently forbidden. The group tasked with study will complete its work and make any legislative recommendations by the end of this year.
In Wyoming, farmers across the state may soon have the opportunity to grow hemp. A bill sponsored by Rep. Bunky Loucks was approved by the House Judiciary Committee early this month and it’s next stop is the House of Representatives.
In Kansas, a hearing for HB 2182, The Kansas Agricultural Industry Growth Act, occurred today. HB 2182 seeks to promote the growth of an industrial hemp cultivation, processing and distribution industry throughout the state.
In Hickman County, Kentucky, industrial hemp is expected create more than 200 jobs in the area over the next few years.
In New Hampshire, a House committee unanimously approved a bill earlier this month that would remove the state ban on industrial hemp. As with New Mexico’s bill, New Hampshire’s House Bill 151 (HB151) would see industrial hemp treated like any other plant, without a license being required to cultivate it.
In other news from February, the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) is suing the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for what is says is an illegal attempt to regulate hemp foods as Schedule 1 drugs.
“We will not stand idly by while the DEA flouts the will of Congress, violates the Ninth Circuit order, and harasses honest hemp producers trying to make a living with this in-demand crop,” said Colleen Keahey, Executive Director of the HIA.