Pennsylvania’s full legislature has given unanimous approval to House Bill 967 which legalizes the cultivation of industrial hemp if done for research purposes. The vote in the House of Representatives was 184 to 0, while the vote in the Senate was 49 to 0. The measure now goes to Governor Tom Wolf for consideration; he’s expected to sign it into law.
Once the legislation takes effect, farmers who receive a license from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture will be authorized to cultivate and produce hemp for the purpose of research. Unfortunately the proposal doesn’t allow for commercial cultivation, something the bill’s proponents say they’ll continue to fight for.
“We put a lot of effort into educating other legislators about the usefulness of this crop and its positive economic and environmental promises for Pennsylvania,”says Representative Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon). “This [bill] is the very first step on what I hope to be very long and prosperous journey for the people of this Commonwealth.”