Recently 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.
Under the new law, the state’s Department of Agriculture will be tasked with licensing farmers interested in cultivating hemp for research purposes. It also directs Washington State University to conduct a study on the feasibility and desirabiliity of legalized hemp in Washington, with a report due to the legislature by next year.