Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed the bill allowing the state Department of Agriculture to license institutes of higher education, private businesses, and individuals to grow industrial hemp. The measure requires that hemp growers, harvesters, transporters, and processors all obtain a license from the Agricultural Department.
“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.” – Ducey in a press release
The legislation defines industrial hemp as cannabis plants containing 0.3 percent THC or less which is on par with the majority of other state programs. The Agriculture Department will authorize which seeds program participants will be allowed to use, Capitol Media Services reports, and lawmakers earmarked $500,000 a year to police the industry and hire inspectors.
Bill supporter Sen. Sonny Borrelli said farmers could get four cuttings of the crop per year, adding that it uses 90 percent less water than cotton.
Arizona is the 35th state to approve industrial hemp legislation. Last month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, which would legalize hemp cultivation and processing throughout the U.S.