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Bob Larson Hemp Rules Finalized Pt 1
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: April 26, 2017

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. The state Department of Agriculture finalized rules for growing industrial hemp in Washington, but a possible misstep by the Senate makes the future unclear.

WSDA hemp coordinator Emily Febles says the rules give the program guidance …

EMILY FEBLES … “These rules are to finalize the structure for industrial hemp planting and processing in the state of Washington. Our program is set up to be federally compliant. So, we’re working under guidelines to set up the program both federally and by what the legislature, the state legislature, passed last year.”

Febles says the licensing program, in part, was set up to keep farmers who want to test the hemp within federal laws …

EMILY FEBLES … “Actually, our industrial hemp program is all set up to be research based. So, while you can definitely make a profit and explore the commercial viability of industrial hemp within the state, it’s still under a research umbrella to sort of understand better how industrial hemp agriculture might work within the state of Washington.”

But last week, the Senate passed a bill taking hemp off the state’s controlled substances list, potentially taking away the department’s authority to stop unlicensed growers …

EMILY FEBLES … “That still has to be signed by the Governor. So, if the Governor choses to sign that, then we will definitely have our policy team and our attorneys really take a close look about how that will affect our program moving forward.”

A spokesman for the governor says they are aware of the conflict and will look into all possible options before signing.

More on that tomorrow.

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