Oklahoma’s House has unanimously approved an industrial hemp pilot program bill which would allow the state’s farmers to obtain a license to grow the crop, KOKH reports. The measure is sponsored by Democratic Rep. Mickey Collens and Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols, a Republican.
“The potential provided in this bill is limitless. In the long term, industrial hemp could become a source of steady, recurring revenue for Oklahoma. Once we analyze results from this pilot program, our state can be on track to commercialize the product and strengthen our economic portfolio.” Dollens to KOKH
The program would be overseen by the state Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, allowing farmers and institutes of higher education to partner with one another to cultivate certified hemp seed – for plants containing 0.3 percent THC – for research and development purposes. The measure includes creating a fund using fees paid by program participants for that agency to register growers, test products, and inspect cultivation sites; however, the legislation does not outline what those fees are.
The bill has been sent to the Oklahoma Senate. If approved by the legislature, the measure would take effect immediately after being signed by the governor.