In Washington State, people were cheering thanks to the probable legalization of hemp. Bill 6206 is now in the hands of Governor Inslee as it waits for the final signature that will make it into the law of the state. The bill to farm and produce industrial hemp in Washington State already passed through the House and Senate with little objection. Bill 6206 gives the Washington State Department of Agriculture permission to give out cultivation licenses to industrial hemp cultivators. According to the bill, industrial hemp would be used to make biofuel, clothes, and even beauty products. However, there would also be light restrictions on hemp when it comes to its extract or resin for both medical and recreational uses.
The only caveat is that the hemp would need to be subject to a research study in order to be cultivated. The Washington State Department of Agriculture would have started licensing hemp cultivators in order to kick off the research program just in time for the outdoor cultivation season of 2016. The bill reads that the Washington State Department of Agriculture might only allow farmers whose farms shall “advance the goals of the department’s industrial hemp research program.”
The industrial hemp research program was set up to be pioneered by Washington State University. Washington State University would have had the goal of looking at how the hemp industry would affect the economic and environmental conditions of the state. Furthermore, they would have to study whether or not the land of Washington is apt for a hemp industry and at the same time is it economically efficient. This research program would also answer whether or not hemp is a risk of bringing in new diseases or bugs. Finally, Washington State University would be asked to go beyond just the state level and begin to search for the effects hemp has globally.
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