Hemp Moves Forward
Legislators have been working on passing legislation that would allow licensed ag producers to grow industrial hemp. Senate Bill 6206 cleared the House on a unanimous vote Tuesday after passing the Senate last month. It now heads to the desk of Gov. Jay Inslee. The Ag Networks KayDee Gilkey has more.
GILKEY: Hemp is one of the oldest domesticated crops known to man. It has been used for paper, textiles, and cordage for thousands of years. In fact, the Columbia History of the World states that the oldest relic of human industry is a scrap of hemp fabric dating back to approximately 8,000 BC. It used to be an important crop for ag producers here in the U.S. but due to it's similarities with its cousin, marijuana, it has been pulled from production. It's regulated as a controlled substance even though it doesn't contain any of the chemical that marijuana does to get you high. But there is a whole litany of products that can be made from hemp. The measure would allow Washington State University to study if widespread hemp production in the state is feasible and if there's a market for it.
Thanks KayDee. WSU would expect to report findings to the Legislature in January of 2017. The state Department of Agriculture would supervise the program and license growers, among other duties.
And that's Washington Ag Today. I'm Greg Martin, thanks for listening on the Ag Information Network of the West.