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Bill to Make Hemp Pilot Program Permanent Closer to Reality
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 10/09/2019

The Hemp Growing Opportunities Act has cleared the State Senate and now goes to the full Assembly and then Gov. Tony Evers for consideration. The measure transitions Wisconsin's hemp pilot program into permanent policy, thanks to a provision in the 2018 federal farm bill passed in December.

The bill was co-sponsored by Senators Patrick Testin of Stevens Point and Lena Taylor from Milwaukee, along with Representatives Tony Kurtz of Wonewoc and Dave Considine, Baraboo.

"Hemp is Wisconsin's comeback crop," Testin said. "This bill works to build confidence at every level of the hemp industry. Farmers, processors, retailers, and customers need to have a reasonable regulatory framework that ensures maximum opportunity and safety."

During the past year, more than 1,400 farmers applied for a hemp growers licenses from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture. The number of hemp processor applications also grew from the previous year as nearly 700 requests were submitted.

The hemp pilot program was approved in December 2017, which legalized the plant as an agricultural commodity for the first time in over six decades.

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