4 Unlikely States That Passed Industrial Hemp Legislation in 2017

Over 30 states in the U.S. have passed some version of industrial hemp cultivation programs through their legislation. Law makers see the potential to create jobs and revive the farming industry in their respective states. These are four unlikely states that passed industrial hemp legislation in 2017.

Ark. Stat. Ann. § 2-15-401 et seq. (2017)

  • Creates the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Program including a 10-year research program.
  • Authorizes the State Plant Board to adopt rules to administer the research program and license growers.
  • Requires the State Plant Board to provide an annual report starting Dec. 31, 2018.
  • Allows the University of Arkansas’s Division of Agriculture and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission to work with the State Plant Board.
  • Establishes a separate program fund, which will include feeds collected and other sources of funding

S 1726 (Enacted; Effective June 16, 2017)

  • Directs the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to authorize and oversee the development of industrial hemp pilot projects at certain universities. Commercialization projects may be allowed after two years with certain conditions.
  • Authorizes the universities to develop pilot projects in partnership with public, nonprofit, and private entities;
  • Requires a university to submit a report within two years of establishing a pilot program.

Mass. Gen. Laws. Ann. 128 § 116 to 123 (2017)

  • Allows for hemp to be planted, grown, harvested, possessed, bought or sold for research or commercial purposes under the regulation of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR).
  • Requires producers and distributors to obtain a license issued by MDAR and for persons utilizing hemp for commercial or research purposes to register with MDAR.
  • Directs MDAR and Commissioner of Agriculture to promulgate rules and regulations.

Wyo. Stat. § 35-7-2101 to 35-7-2107 (effective July 1, 2017)

  • Authorizes the planting, growing, harvesting, possession, processing, or sale of industrial hemp for licensed individuals.
  • Provides for licensing requirements and rule-making authority by the state department of agriculture.
  • Allows the University of Wyoming and the state department of agriculture to grow industrial hemp for research purposes.
  • Provides an affirmative defense for marijuana possession or cultivation of marijuana for licensed industrial hemp growers.

Source: NCSL.org

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