Tennessee’s full House of Representatives voted 88 to 5 Monday to approve House Bill 2445, a measure to legalize industrial hemp. Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the same measure with a unanimous vote.
The proposal, sponsored by Representative Jeremy Faison and Senator Frank Nicely, would allow those who become licensed with the state’s Department of Agriculture to legally cultivate and sell industrial hemp.
The measure now heads towards a full Senate vote, where its passage will send it to the governor, who can either veto it, sign it into law or let it become law without his signature.
According to recent congressional research, the U.S. imports roughly half a billion dollars in hemp from other countries – given that the sell of hemp products is legal – yet continues to retain the illegality of hemp cultivation. The same research estimates the hemp market to consist of over 25,000 various products.