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Evers Signs Wisconsin Hemp Bill into Law
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 11/27/2019

A pilot program that encouraged Wisconsin farmers to grow industrial hemp as a cash crop is now on the books permanently. On Tuesday, Governor Tony Evers signed the 'Growing Opportunities Act,' which updates state law to reflect new federal regulations on hemp production. The measure also creates more certainty for hemp producers, processors and consumers in the Badger State, while boosting funding for the agriculture department to test industrial hemp crops.

The bipartisan measure was co-authored by Reps. Dave Considine of Baraboo and Tony Kurtz from Wonewoc, along with Senators Patrick Testin of Stevens Point and Lena Taylor from Milwaukee. They felt the legislation was necessary after the 2018 farm bill legalized hemp farming on the national level.

"I was proud to sign this collaborative, bipartisan bill into law today to ensure the continued success of our hemp program and the many new opportunities hemp provides to Wisconsin farmers," Evers said in a statement.

State and federal regulations allow farmers to grow hemp as long as the crop contains less than 0.3 percent of THC, which is a drug most often found in marijuana. The crop can be used to make products like fabric, lotions, rope and energy bars.

During the past growing season, nearly 1,250 farmers applied for a license to grow hemp. That's about a thousand more than in 2018, the first year it was allowed back into production.

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