With a 57 to 11 vote, South Dakota’s full House of Representatives has given approval to legislation that would explicitly legalize the cultivation, production and distribution of industrial hemp.
House Bill 1054, which is sponsored by a bipartisan coalition of 40 state legislators, now heads to the state’s Senate for consideration, where its passage will send it to Governor Dennis Daugaard. Before being up for a full Senate vote, however, it will need to get through its assigned Senate committee, the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
Pennsylvania’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee has given unanimously approval to House Bill 967, a proposal to allow for the production and cultivation of industrial hemp.
The measure, sponsored by Republican State Representative Russ Diamond, would create a pilot program for industrial hemp research which would be conducted by university researchers and the state’s Department of Agriculture.
“There’s an enormous amount of confusion and misinformation around industrial hemp”, says Representative Diamond. “It’s not marijuana and you can’t get high from it… It’s a naturally occurring plant that’s incredibly strong and durable, making it ideal for use in a wide variety of consumer products.”
North Carolina’s full Senate – with an 101 to 7 vote – has given approval to an amended version of Senate Bill 313, which allows industrial hemp to be cultivated in the state for the first time in decades. Having already passed the House of Representatives, it now heads to Governor Pat McCrory for consideration.
If signed into law by Governor McCrory, or allowed to become law without his signature, the measure would establish an Industrial Hemp Commission which would oversee a hemp pilot program. The commission would be tasked with granting licenses to farmers as well as the state’s A&T University to cultivate industrial hemp.
Industrial hemp is now legal in North Dakota, due to House Bill 1436 becoming law on Friday, August 1st.
House Bill 1436, which was approved by the Senate with a 46 to 1 vote, and by the House of Representatives with an 87 to 5 vote, was signed into law by Governor Jack Dalrymple in March. The measure legalizes the production and cultivation of hemp, which is defined as having 0.3% THC or less. The measure establishes a regulatory framework allowing farmers wanting to grow the crop to become licensed with the state.
Oregon’s Senate on Monday voted to opposed a measure that would have placed a two-year moratorium on hemp production in the state.
House Bill 2668 was rejected with a 13 to 17 vote. The proposal would have required the state Department of Agriculture to revoke all 13 of the hemp permits issued this year, with additional permits not granted until 2017. The measure was opposed by all 12 Republicans, who were joined in opposition by 5 Democrats.
With the clocks striking midnight, July 1st is now upon us and laws legalizing cannabis and hemp have taken effect in Oregon and Connecticut.
In Oregon, it is now entirely legal for anyone 21 and older to possess up to half a pound of cannabis at a private residence, or up to an ounce of cannabis in public. They’re also allowed to cultivate up to four plants for personal use. This is due to portions of Measure 91, approved by voters last year, taking effect.
In Connecticut, thanks to House Bill 5780, it’s now legal to cultivate an unlimited amount of hemp without first receiving a license from the state. Under the new law, hemp, which is defined as having no more than 1% THC, is treated like other agricultural products such as tomatoes.
On Wednesday, July 1st, House Bill 5780 will become law in Connecticut, legalizing the unlimited cultivation of industrial hemp.
The new law, which officially takes effect at 12:00am on July 1st, removes hemp from the state’s list of controlled substances, legalizing it for all purposes. This means that hemp will be treated like other agricultural commodities such as tomatoes. Farmers will not be required to receive a license from the state, and no limit will be imposed on the number of plants they can cultivate. They will, however, need to maintain a THC level of no more than 1% in all of their plants (if it goes above that, it will be considered cannabis and remain illegal), though that number is higher than the 0.3% limit established in most states that have legalized the crop.
In addition to cutting the DEA’s budget and protecting state medical cannabis laws, the U.S. House of Representatives has approved an amendment to a federal appropriations bill that would prevent the government from interfering with state-sanctioned laws that allow for the cultivation of industrial hemp. The vote was 282 to 146.
The amendment, which was added to the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, was introduced by Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Thomas Massie (R-KY). A similar provision was passed by Congress last year, though that amendment only applied to hemp being cultivated for research purposes.
Minnesota’s House of Representatives voted 89 to 37 Tuesday to approve a proposal that would legalize the production and cultivation of industrial hemp.
The proposal, which was introduced as an amendment to an agriculture budget bill (H.F. No. 1437), was put forth by Representatives Mary Franson (R-Alexandria) and Phyllis Kahn (DFL-Minneapolis). If passed into law, it would allow those wanting to produce and cultivate hemp to do so after receiving a license from the state’s Department of Agriculture.