Wisconsin Lawmakers Unanimously Approve Hemp Research Act

MADISON, WI — Members of the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate have unanimously approved legislation, Senate Bill 119, to establish a state-sponsored pilot program to “study the growth, cultivation, and marketing of industrial hemp.”

The measure now awaits final approval from Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

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Under a 2014 federal law, states may license hemp cultivation as part of a university sponsored pilot program.

Thirty-two universities in nineteen states – Colorado, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia – have participated in hemp cultivation projects this year, according to data compiled by the advocacy organization Vote Hemp.

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Federal legislation is pending, House Bill 3530: The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017, to exclude cannabis strains under 0.3 percent THC from the federal definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act.

In August, the National Conference on State Legislatures unanimously approved a policy position in support of amending federal law to reclassify hemp as a distinct agricultural crop and permitting states to engage in its commercial cultivation.

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