Tempe company granted Arizona’s first industrial hemp license
PHOENIX – Last year, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation making it legal to cultivate hemp in the state.
Under the law, Friday was the first day the Arizona Department of Agriculture could issue licenses for industrial hemp farmers.
At 9 a.m. Friday, Arizona Hemp Consultants was granted the state’s first hemp license.
The Tempe-based company provides consulting services for hemp growers, processors and investors, from seed to product sales.
1st hemp growers license in Arizona
Hemp is a variety of cannabis plant with a low level of THC, the chemical that provides the high in marijuana.
Under the new law, hemp grown in the state can’t have a THC concentration above .3%. Farmers can be forced to destroy their crop if the THC level exceeds the limit.
Hemp can be used in a wide variety of products, including food supplements, textiles, paper and body lotions.
It also is a source for cannabidiol, or CBD, which is touted for its health benefits and is purportedly useful in treating pain, insomnia, anxiety and other ailments.
The global market for CBD is projected to exceed $20 billion by 2022, according to research firm Brightfield Group.
“Very shortly we will be cultivating hemp for processing,” Dante A. Schettino, Arizona Hemp Consultants manager, said in a press release.
“Not only is the legalization of industrial hemp positive news for Arizona farmers, but [it] also presents business opportunities for investors where Arizona Hemp Consultants can play an important part in this new industry.”
Arizona Hemp Consultants’ license is for the Big Sandy Ranch near Wikieup, about 135 miles northwest of downtown Phoenix.
The ranch is leasing property to Arizona Hemp Consultants and others interested in hemp farming.