Washington Legislature Unanimously Passes Bill to Legalize Hemp with No License Required, No Grow Limits

Legislation to legalize hemp with no license required and no grow limits has been passed by Washington’s full legislature.

House Bill 2064 passed the House of Representatives at the end of February with a vote of 98 to 0. Today, the measure passed the Senate with a unanimous 49 to 0 vote. This sends it to Governor Jay Inslee for consideration; Inslee has the option of signing it into law, allowing it to become law without his signature or vetoing it. It’s highly unlikely Inslee would veto the measure, but if he did the legislature could override it with a two thirds vote.

If the measure does become law, as expected, it would exclude industrial hemp “from the definitions of “controlled substance” and “marijuana” for purposes of the uniform controlled substances act.” Given that the measure establishes no regulatory framework, this would allow hemp to be grown in a manner similar to other agricultural commodities with no license required, and with no limit on the size of the crop.

The full text of House Bill 2062 – sponsored by Representative Matt Shea with six bipartisan cosponsors – can be found by clicking here.

According to congressional research, the U.S. imports roughly half a billion dollars in hemp from other countries (primarily Canada and China) while retaining the illegality of its cultivation among its own farmers. The same research estimates the hemp market to consist of over 25,000 various products.

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