On Wednesday, July 20th, Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation, House Bill 967, to establish “a pilot program to study the growth, cultivation or marketing of industrial hemp.”
The bill allows for registered individuals to grow, cultivate, and/or market industrial hemp. Agencies, colleges, and universities are permitted to grow industrial hemp for research purposes. It also creates the Hemp Research Board, which is responsible for developing regulations, applications for registration, inspections, a database of registered persons, registration fees, and guidelines for labeling and testing.
This law is compliant with Section 7606 of the omnibus federal farm bill authorizing states to sponsor hemp cultivation pilot programs absent federal reclassification of the plant. More than two dozen states have enacted legislation permitting licensed hemp cultivation in a manner that is compliant with this statute.
“William Penn himself was an advocate of hemp growth, and in 1683, one of the first laws passed by the General Assembly in Pennsylvania was a law to encourage every farmer to grow hemp,” said Governor Wolf. “The U.S. industrial hemp industry has been estimated at over $ 500 million in annual retail sales and is still growing. Supporting this industry in Pennsylvania is a smart investment in the commonwealth’s economy.”
The new law takes effect immediately.
For more information, please contact your local Pennsylvania NORML chapter, you can view the PA chapter list here.