Arizona Senator Sonny Borrelli has introduced emergency legislation which would require the state to get licensing procedures, rules and regulations implemented by May 31 for the state’s impending hemp industry.
If Senate Bill 1003 passes, Arizona farmers could get their first hemp crops planted within months, ABC 15 News reports. If the bill fails, Arizona’s hemp industry will keep its current launch date of Aug 4.
Borrelli stated, “There is not enough THC in hemp to get anybody intoxicated. Like I keep telling everybody, expecting to get high on hemp is expecting to get drunk on a case of O’Doul’s. It’s almost impossible.”
It’s said that over 78,000 acres of hemp were planted in the U.S. in 2018. The top hemp-producing states in the country are Colorado and Montana.
The Brightfield Group recently estimated the U.S. hemp industry’s value by 2022 to be more than $20 billion.
The Arizona Department of Agriculture (AZDA) is working on the licensing process and rules.
Chelsea McGuire of the Arizona Farm Bureau said, “Hemp has a huge potential in this state. It’s a crop that we believe to be very water tolerant, it’s a crop that’s going to thrive in our desert climate.”
Arizona hemp farmers would be required to ensure that their crop doesn’t exceed the 0.3% THC threshold. Hemp producing more than 0.3% THC would likely have to be destroyed.