ND Hemp Bill Signed, NH Hemp Bill Passes House; Hearings on Hemp Bills Set in CA, OR in April
Washington, DC — Board members of Vote Hemp, a non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of industrial hemp, is excited by recent advances made in four state legislatures considering hemp legislation this year that would allow farmers and researchers to grow industrial hemp. In California, New Hampshire, Oregon and North Dakota business leaders, farmers and legislators are backing legislation that would bring back hemp farming and support research almost 50 years after the crop was taken away from farmers who grew the versatile plant for centuries.
Recent Advances of State Hemp Legislation
North Dakota — VICTORY. On March 9 the Governor John Hoeven signed House Bill 1492 which directs the North Dakota State University to start storing “feral hemp seed” in preparation for the day in which it becomes legal to grow industrial hemp under federal law. The vote in the House was 87-3 and in Senate was 46-0. In 1999 North Dakota was the first state to pass hemp farming legislation but to date has not challenged federal supremacy over the issue in the courts.
New Hampshire — House Bill 55-FN-A — PASSED HOUSE on March 23 by a margin of 199-168. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. If passed and signed into law it would let farmers apply for a state license to grow industrial hemp. Qualifying farmers must have no criminal convictions and plant at least five acres per year. Only hemp seed that was sold to farmers by the New Hampshire Commissioner of Agriculture would be approved to be planted to ensure only low THC varieties of plant are grown.
Oregon — Senate Bill 294 — HEARING SET FOR APRIL 6 in the Oregon Senate Environment and Land Use Committee at 3 p.m. in room B. The bill permits production and possession of industrial hemp and trade in industrial hemp commodities and products. The bill authorizes the State Department of Agriculture to administer a licensing, permitting and inspection program for growers and handlers of industrial hemp.
California — Assembly Bill 1147 — HEARINGS SET FOR APRIL 27 before the California Assembly Agriculture Committee. If passed, AB 1147 would give farmers the right to apply for state licenses to grow low THC varieties of hemp. The law would be similar to regulations on industrial hemp in other countries such as Canada and the European Union. The University of California would also conduct research on industrial hemp.
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