OLYMPIA – Under a bill introduced by Sen. Bob Hasegawa, Washington will become a leader in allowing the commercial growing of industrial hemp. The well-worked bill passed both chambers of the Legislature unanimously and will become law.
“This is an exciting economic development bill,” Hasegawa. “Industrial hemp is used in more than 25,000 products and in a variety of categories – from food to biofuel to clothing and furniture. With the passage of this bill, Washington will be a leader in the nation in allowing the growing of this important and versatile crop, which is grown throughout the world but not widely in the U.S.”
Senate Bill 6206 grants authority to the Washington State Department of Agriculture to establish an industrial hemp licensing program, research program and seed importation and certification program – making Washington one of only a handful of states in the U.S. to grow hemp in compliance with the recently passed federal Farm Act.
Under the bill, industrial hemp is of the family defined as the plant Cannabis sativa, which is otherwise considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance. Hemp grown in Washington must have a THC level at or below 0.3 percent by weight.
The bill also provides that Washington State University (WSU) must conduct research on the feasibility of industrial hemp growing in this state. WSU must report its findings to the Legislature by Jan. 14, 2017.
To watch the bill vote, please click here (and scroll to 2:16:45).