Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has signed an industrial hemp legalization bill into law.
The legislation, introduced by Republican Representative Jesse Kremer, was passed unanimously by the Wisconsin House of Representatives and Senate, before being signed into law Thursday by Governor Walker. Under the proposed farmers who receive a license from the state would be legally authorized to cultivate and produce hemp. Hemp would be defined as having 0.3% or less tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis and in small amounts in hemp plants. Farmers with a prior drug conviction would not be eligible to receive a hemp license.
With Governor Walker’s signature, Wisconsin has joined the over 30 states that have legalized hemp on the state level, despite it remaining illegal federally.
According to congressional research, the United States imports roughly half a billion dollars in hemp from other countries (primarily Canada and China) while retaining the illegality of its cultivation amongst its own farmers. The same research estimates the hemp market to consist of over 25,000 various products.