Legislation to legalize hemp has advanced in Arizona.
Senate Bill 1337 was passed by the House Committee of the Whole yesterday, exactly a week after it was given unanimous approval by the House Rules Committee; the proposal has already passed the full Senate with a vote of 26 to 4. The bill must now be passed through a third and final reading in the House of Representatives before it can be sent to Governor Doug Ducey for consideration.
The proposed law would legalize the production, processing, manufacturing, distribution and commerce of industrial hemp. The measure designates industrial hemp “as an agricultural product that is subject to regulation by the Department [of Agriculture]”, and would prohibit the state from “restricting a person from growing industrial hemp based on the legal status of industrial hemp under federal law.”
Click here for the full text of Senate Bill 1337.
According to congressional research, the United States imports roughly half a billion dollars in hemp from other countries (primarily Canada and China) while retaining the illegality of its cultivation amongst its own farmers. The same research estimates the hemp market to consist of over 25,000 various products.