It’s been a couple years in the making, and not without a few legislative hurdles along the way, but as of Monday, May 14, industrial hemp is now legal in Arizona. With Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s signing, AZ Senate Bill 1098 is now a law that permits and authorizes funding for a pilot program for the growth, production, and sale of industrial hemp.
Like most state-based hemp statutes, the new lawin Arizona legalizes the growth of hemp that contains no more than 0.3 percent THC. Universities in Arizona and affiliates, and farmers licensed by the Arizona Department of Agriculture will be able to cultivate, harvest, transport, process, and sell hemp and hemp by-products. Since 2014, hemp oil supplements—with specific THC levels of 0.3 percent or below—have been legal in the state for all residents.
S.B. 1098 was led by Sen. Sonny Borrelli, who last year led a similar bill to legalize hemp in Arizona. According to reports, the 2017 bill did not pass because of an oversight in funding authorization. There was speculation last year’s bill did not pass because of Gov. Ducey’s stance on cannabis-related legislation. Whether that is true or not, Gov. Ducey stepped up and inked his signature that now makes Arizona the 35th state to legalize hemp in the U.S.
In Gov. Ducey’s own words, “This bill opens Arizona to the possibility of a new agricultural product.” I’m glad to sign a bill that could have a positive economic impact for the state.”
The Arizona Agriculture Department is projected to begin issuing growing licenses by early 2019.
If you live in a state where hemp oil is being debated for legality we strongly urge you to contact your local representative. For representative contact information in your region visit the resource section on NationalHempAssociation.or