David Wilson

Maine Gov. Signs Bill Aligning State & Federal Hemp Definitions

A piece of emergency legislation in Maine has passed into law, aligning the state’s definition of industrial hemp with language in the federal farm bill.

Full story after the jump.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, has signed legislation making it clear that the production and sale of hemp-derived food is legal in the state, the Associated Press reports. The measure is designed to align the state’s definition of hemp with the federal definition outlined in last year’s Farm Bill.

The measure does introduce hemp cultivation licenses and fees. Application fees are capped at $100, license fees at $500, and fees for “monitoring, sampling, and testing” at $100 per acre, according to the bill text.

The bill passed the House 116-1 last week and the Senate 32-1 on Tuesday.

The governor, who signed the bill as emergency legislation, said it preserves “the continued growth of the legal hemp industry” in Maine. Democratic Rep. Craig Hickman, an organic farmer, sponsored the measure after state regulators had ordered retailers to stop selling food products containing CBD in January.

“We heard from farmers, processors, retailers, health care practitioners and people who have found relief in the medicinal qualities of the nutrient dense whole food that is the hemp plant. They needed us to act.” – Hickman, to the Portland Press Herald

The bill opens the door for the sale of CBD-infused animal food but, because the law considers it food and not medicine, retailers and producers cannot make any health claims about the products.

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