Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers signed a bipartisan bill Nov. 26 that makes the state’s 2018 hemp pilot program permanent and aligns its rules with requirements laid out in the 2018 Farm Bill, according to a Star Tribune report.
“I was proud to sign this collaborative, bipartisan bill into law today to ensure the continued success of our hemp program and the many new opportunities hemp provides to Wisconsin farmers,” Evers said in a public statement.
In its first year, Wisconsin’s hemp pilot program saw 250 licensed growers, the Star Tribune reported. This year, the state licensed 1,247 growers and 556 processors, according to the news outlet.
The legislation ensures continued growth for the program, and makes technical changes to the state’s hemp law, such as allowing for a THC concentration of up to 0.3% in the bloodstream for people who may be using legal CBD products, the Star Tribune reported.
Any crop that contains above 0.3% THC must be destroyed, an issue that several of the state’s farmers wrestled with this past harvest season. Farmers in the South Central Wisconsin Hemp cooperative blamed delays in state testing for their “hot” crops, for example, demonstrating the broader issue of the THC cap in the emerging U.S. hemp industry.
Under the new legislation, Wisconsin’s state agriculture department would be authorized to hire third-party contractors to assist with testing, according to a Wisconsin Public Radio report.