DEA Gives Washington State Approval to Import Hemp Seeds

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has received approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to import hemp seeds.

“It’s a real, real possibility we’ll have a spring planting of hemp,” says WSDA’s hemp coordinator Emily Feblesy According to Feblesy the WSDA has proposed rules for hemp cultivation and hopes to issue licenses to growers, seed distributors and processors in May.

Washington now joins several other states – including Oregon – that have received DEA approval to import hemp seeds.

For now, the hemp grown in Washington will be for research purposes. However, a bill to legalize commercial hemp cultivation, without a license and without a grow limit, recently passed the state’s House of Representatives with a unanimous 98 to 0 vote. The measure must now be passed by the Senate in order to be sent to Governor Jay Inslee for consideration.

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Washington Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto of Hemp Bill

field-of-hemp-2Recently we reported that Washington State Governor Jay Inslee vetoed a bill to legalize industrial hemp for research purposes – in addition to 26 other bills – due to the legislature failing to pass an unrelated budget bill. Now, the legislature has overriden the governor’s veto, enacting the bill into law.

Senate Bill 6206 was given unanimous approval by the state’s House of Representatives, with a 97 to 0 vote. The vote was also overwhelming, though not quite unanimous, in the Senate, with the vote 48 to 1. A two-thirds vote is required to override a governor veto, a number the legislature easily reached.

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Hemp Legalization Bill Unanimously Passed by Washington House, Sent to Governor Inslee

hempsprout
A sprouting hemp plant.

Washington State’s House of Representatives has voted unanimously, 97 to 0, to pass Senate Bill 6206, a bill authorizing the state Department of Agriculture to license farmers interested in cultivated hemp for research purposes. Given that the measure has already passed the Senate 48 to 1, it will now go to Governor Jay Inslee for consideration.

“Sending this bill to the governor’s desk now is a very important move for Washington industry,” said House Commerce and Gaming Committee Chairman Chris Hurst (D-Enumclaw). “We have other states that are really pressing forward quickly to get ahead of Washington, and that’s to our detriment, to our state, our farmers.”

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Bill to Allow Unlicensed Hemp Cultivation Receives Unanimous Approval by WA Senate

Washingtonhempplants State’s Senate has given unanimous approval to legislation that would explicitly allow the unlicensed cultivation of hemp. The proposal also directs Washington State University to study industrial hemp production, with a report to be given to the state’s Legislature by January 14th, 2016.

Under Senate Bill 5012, hemp will become an “agricultural product that may be grown, produced, possessed, and commercially traded in the state.” This can be done without a license, though the hemp must contain no more than 0.3% THC.

Read moreBill to Allow Unlicensed Hemp Cultivation Receives Unanimous Approval by WA Senate