Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has signed into law a bill establishing an industrial hemp pilot program.
Governor Ducey signed Senate Bill 1098 earlier today, providing funding for the Arizona Department of Agriculture’s (AZDA) agricultural pilot program allowing universities and those with a license from AZDA to begin cultivating industrial hemp. The law defines hemp as having 0.3% THC or less.
“This bill opens Arizona to the possibility of a new agricultural product,” said Governor Ducey in a press release. “I’m glad to sign a bill that could have a positive economic impact for the state.”
“It uses nine times less water than cotton,” says Senator Sonny Borrelli (R), the bill’s primary sponsor. “This will help our cotton growers to be able to rotate in another crop. They only get one planting a year of cotton, this can be planted once a year and at least four cuttings”.
According to congressional research, the hemp market consists of over 25,000 various products ranging from textiles to food products. The United States imports roughly half a billion dollars in hemp each year from other countries, yet retains the illegality of its cultivation among its own farmers. Despite federal law, 34 states have passed some type of policy allowing hemp to be cultivated at the state level, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.