Arizona’s industrial hemp program will begin on June 1, 2019. Senator Sonny Borrelli’s bill (SB1003), which was recently signed into law, established this expedited launch date.
The Arizona Department of Agriculture (AZDA) stated they will use their deadline of May 31 to:
- Establish rules
- Create an industrial hemp licensing program
- Appoint an Industrial Hemp Advisory Council
- Develop an application and review process
- Develop a fee schedule
The AZDA will have oversight of the Arizona industrial hemp program, and hemp growers, harvesters, processors and transporters will have to be licensed by the AZDA.
Persons or companies applying for an Arizona industrial hemp license must:
- Complete the AZDA’s application (still in development)
- Obtain a fingerprint clearance card from the Fingerprint Division of the Arizona Dept. of Public Safety
- Submit payment for the program’s licensing fee (still in development)
- Other eligibility and qualifying requirements will likely be developed
The state’s hemp program will allow for the commercialization and interstate shipment of industrial hemp. Arizona’s hemp crops will also be eligible for USDA-FSA crop insurance.
In Arizona, industrial hemp is defined as the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of not more than three-tenths percent (0.3%) on a dry-weight basis. (A.R.S. § 3-311).
Hemp has been used by civilizations for centuries. It can provide large yields and consumes minimal water compared to other crops such as cotton. It can be used to make paper, rope, textiles, health foods, wellness products, beauty products, building materials, pet food, and dozens of other beneficial products.