Hemp, Inc. reported that Senate Bill 50, which would allow research programs at colleges and universities to cultivate and process industrial hemp, earlier this week received its “first stamp of approval” in Pennsylvania.
With the support of Senator Judith L. Schwank, who serves Berks County along with her role as Democratic chairwoman of the Senate’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, Senate Bill 50 moved out of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee by a vote of 11-0. From here, Senate Bill 50 moves to the full Senate for consideration.
Senator Schwank was quoted in an article saying, “We hope that, once we get this started, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania can become a powerhouse in the growth of hemp for all kinds of uses. There are so many opportunities for this, and we’re losing out by not being able to grow it. Industrial hemp is not marijuana, and it’s not medical marijuana. It’s an age-old plant that has benefitted farmers and consumers for thousands of years, and it holds the promise of helping Pennsylvania farmers in significant ways, once again.”
Hemp, Inc. executives agree, noting that it is increasingly evident that states are beginning to realize the enormous environmental and economic benefits of industrial hemp.
“It’s all unfolding before our very eyes. States, such as Pennsylvania and more, want to reap the economic rewards of industrial hemp. Hemp can be used to manufacture a myriad of products from paper to building materials. It makes no sense that our American farmers can’t grow it, but luckily that is rapidly beginning to change,” Bruce Perlowin, CEO of Hemp, Inc., stated in the company’s news release yesterday.
The company also notes that Pennsylvania is not the only state moving forward with the industrial hemp movement. North Dakota’s Department of Agriculture, for example, is beginning its industrial hemp pilot program under the 2014 Farm Bill and is seeking applicants to participate in agricultural or academic research.
In Pueblo, Colorado, a hemp oil plant received an $8 million incentive package to help CBD Biosciences get its hemp-oil processing plant” up and running. According to an article in the DenverPost, “The Pueblo Development Foundation will spend $3 million to rehab a Boeing rocket assembly plant at Pueblo Airport Industrial Park that has been vacant since 2004. CBD Biosciences, a partnership of Denver-based O.penVape and Thar Process Inc., receive $4.89 million to help purchase equipment.”
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