Washington State Lawmakers Unanimously Approve Hemp Legalization Legislation
Washington State’s House of Representatives has unanimously approved Second Substitute House Bill 1888, a proposal to explicitly legalize hemp cultivation.
In Washington, the cultivation of hemp was technically decriminalized through the passage of Initiative 502; however, the initiative failed to establish any specific regulatory system for hemp, and it set the limit for the THC found in hemp at 0.3%, a common number for pending hemp legislation across the country, but a number that many farmers and advocates have argued is unreasonably low.
Second Substitute House Bill 1888 would raise the minimum THC allowed in hemp to 1%, the number recommended by the North American Industrial Hemp Council.
In addition, the proposal, according to an official analysis, would:
- Authorizes the Director of the Department of Agriculture (Director) to issue licenses for the growing of industrial hemp.
- Requires the Director to establish a fee to administer the industrial hemp program.
- Designates industrial hemp as an agricultural product which may be grown, produced, possessed, and commercially traded pursuant to the requirements of the act.
- Creates an industrial hemp account in the State Treasury that is funded by licensing fees.
- Authorizes the Washington State University to undertake research regarding industrial hemp production in this state.
The proposal, which is sponsored by a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers, now moves to the Senate, where its passage will send it to Governor Jay Inslee for consideration.