Senate Ag Committee to Consider Industrial Hemp Bill

The Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, chaired by Senator Elder Vogel, will consider legislation to allow the growth of industrial hemp during a meeting set for 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, October 27, in Room 8E-B of the State Capitol East Wing.

Senate Bill 50, introduced by Senator Judy Schwank, provides for an industrial hemp industry in the Commonwealth through the establishment of a permitting process within the Department of Agriculture to license and regulate the cultivation, growth and sale of industrial hemp. The 2014 Federal Farm Bill permits industrial hemp research if it is authorized by a state.

While a member of the cannabis family, industrial hemp has a very low level of tetrahydrocannbinol (THC) and does not have a psychoactive effect. Industrial hemp has been used for thousands of years in numerous applications, and until the last century was commonly grown in the Commonwealth.

Today it is estimated that there are more than 50,000 potential applications for it across a wide spectrum of industries, including textiles, building materials, industrial products, baby care, food, paper and energy and environmental products.

The committee is also set to consider Senate Bill 735, a measure introduced by Senator Vogel that would allow mobile retail food facilities to operate in multiple food safety jurisdictions without having to pay multiple fees in each county it operates.

Contact:    Mike Rader     (717) 787-3076.