Industrial hemp bill signed into law, allowing Washington farmers to grow crop

A bill was signed into law Friday that will establish a new licensing and regulatory program for hemp production in Washington state.

Hemp was removed from the list of controlled substances with the legalization of marijuana in Washington and several other states. The decision permitted hemp production in states, as long as a regulatory program was implemented.

Senate Bill 5276 establishes a licensing, inspection and testing program under the Department of Agriculture, allowing farmers in Washington the opportunity to grow the crop.

The bill was introduced by Senator Doug Ericksen, who represents the 42nd Legislative District.

“Quick approval for this bill means a big opportunity for Washington farmers,” said Ericksen in a statement Friday.

“Hemp could become a major crop in my district, because in Northwest Washington we would need no irrigation. But this new cash crop can be grown anywhere in the state, and if we can get planting done this season, all the better.”

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