Full Rhode Island Legislature Votes to Legalize Hemp with 97 to 7 Vote

hempRhode Island’s full legislature has now passed legislation to explicitly legalize the cultivation and production of industrial hemp.

House Bill 8232, which now goes to Governor Gina Raimondo for consideration, states that “Hemp is an agricultural product which may be grown as a crop, produced, possessed, distributed, and commercially traded”. The measure would task the Department of Business Regulations with handling licensed and regulations for the new industry.

Additionally, “H8232 would prohibit the Department of Business Regulation from adopting any rules that would prohibit a person or entity from growing or distributing hemp based on the legal status of hemp under federal law”, states the Tenth Amendment Center. “Language in the bill acknowledges federal prohibition on hemp, but correctly asserts the state can legally dictate its own policy notwithstanding federal law.”

Specifically, the bill says that; “States are not required to enforce federal law or prosecute people for engaging in activities prohibited by federal law. Therefore, compliance with this chapter does not put the state of Rhode Island in violation of federal law.”

Governor Raimondo is expected to sign the measure into law.

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