On Tuesday, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers signed a hemp production legislation that amends laws governing industrial hemp cultivation. He also signed a bill legalizing temporary lemonade stands for children under the age of 18.
The bill, which was approved by both the Democrats and Republicans, re-authorizes the growth of hemp and makes several changes to the Wisconsin hemp regulations. Supporters of the bill said that Wisconsin law needed to be updated after Congress legalized hemp production under the 2018 Farm Bill. The 2018 Farm Bill urged states interested in the cultivation of hemp to enact new state regulations in line with the rules passed by the USDA.
Sen. Patrick Testin applauded the governor Evers for approving the bill affirming that it is a step in the right direction as hemp becomes re-introduced in the state.
In a statement, Testin said that the signing of the bill marked the beginning of a new era for the farmers, processors, retailers, and consumers from the state of Wisconsin.
The production of industrial hemp was legalized in Wisconsin in 2017. The plant is used in making products such as fabrics, lotions, ropes, and granola bars.
Hemp was not legal in the state of Wisconsin for several decades as it was outlawed for containing small amounts of THC, which is the compound of marijuana that gets you high.
According to the DATCP (Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection), the state of Wisconsin awarded 1,247 farmers with cultivation licenses, and 556 hemp processing permits in 2019.
Wisconsin regulations stipulate that growers and processors must pass a background check, and those who have past drug convictions are not permitted to grow or process the crop. The plants must undergo THC testing and those containing more than 0.3% THC must be destroyed.
Some farmers raised concerns and said that delays in testing the crop by the state could lead to increased THC concentration, which would lead to the eradication of their plants.
Sponsors said that the new regulation would give the state’s Department of Agriculture the chance to hire third-party labs to help in testing the crops.
Governor Evers said that the crop provides the people of Wisconsin looking to venture into new markets with a sea of opportunities.
Last week, the governor also approved several bills into law, which would ensure that:
- People who are 18 years and below are allowed to own and operate a lemonade stand without a permit. The proposal also barred the passing of ordinances banning the temporary stands by the local government.
- The conditions for awarding educational loan assistance were expanded to health care providers such as doctors, nurses, and dentists providing services in free marijuana clinics.
- Non-profit organizations and employees providing care to homeless people to be covered by the state’s liability insurance.
- Require wetland mitigation near a construction site, a move that would protect the city against flooding, protect groundwater from pollution, and preserve the environment.
- Allow gas pumps to dispense fuel containing less than 10% or 15% ethanol, and gasoline which is not infused with ethanol through the fueling nozzle and hose.
The enactment of the hemp law in Wisconsin is likely to be a piece of good news to the entire industry, including players like Canopy Rivers Inc. (TSX: RIV) (OTC: CNPOF) and Dama Financial, which have always wanted to see hemp programs implemented across the nation.
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