Sheila Sund

Bill Refining Oregon Industrial Hemp Program Passes Legislature; Moves to Governor

The Oregon Legislature has unanimously passed a bill to classify hemp seed as an agricultural product, the Associated Press reports. Under the measure, the state Department of Agriculture must adopt rules for the new regime including identification documents.

The program was initially launched in 2015 but was marked with slow progress at the onset. Later that year, lawmakers rejected a measure that would have suspended hemp growing operations in the state for two years. That bill would have revoked all 13 licenses in the state at that time.

The legislation includes testing requirements, and includes provisions barring unlicensed individuals from producing, processing, or storing homemade industrial hemp extracts such as CBD. It also prevents the Agriculture Department from allowing hemp crops from containing THC limits higher than federal standards. Only West Virginia allows hemp crops to contain limits higher than the federal standard at 1 percent.

The bill also creates an Industrial Hemp Fund, which would include revenues from licensing and fines – which are set at $2,500 for violating the industrial hemp law and rules of the Agriculture Department.

The measure, which was passed during a Saturday special session, still needs to be signed by Gov. Kate Brown before it takes effect.

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