Gov. Doug Ducey signs bill allowing farmers to grow industrial hemp

May 15, 2018, 4:44 AM

(AP Photo/Don Ryan)...

(AP Photo/Don Ryan)

(AP Photo/Don Ryan)

PHOENIX — Arizona became the latest state to allow farmers to grow industrial hemp, after Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation that funds a pilot program for growing hemp on Monday.

In a statement, the governor’s office said he signed Senate Bill 1098, which provides funding for the Arizona Department of Agriculture’s pilot program that will allow universities and other licensed facilities to start cultivating industrial hemp.

The hemp, which is the fiber form of cannabis, would be required to remain below 0.3 percent THC, which is the psychoactive element of marijuana.

It would be an “agricultural product that requires a grower, harvester, transporter or processor to obtain a license,” the governor’s office said.

The legislation also spells out penalties for anyone who violates the licensing requirements.

At least 34 states have passed legislation related to industrial hemp. Ducey said the product will benefit the state’s economy.

“This bill opens Arizona to the possibility of a new agricultural product,” Ducey said in a statement.

“I’m glad to sign a bill that could have a positive economic impact for the state.”

Harvested hemp is used in a wide range of products, such as building materials, food, paper and textiles.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Gov. Doug Ducey signs bill allowing farmers to grow industrial hemp