Washington Hemp- Gov Signs Hemp Bill!
It has been a long and bumpy road for hemp production in Washington State since the legislature first passed a bill for hemp production in 2016, following the 2014 Farm Bill and provision within for states to be able to grow hemp under pilot and research programs.
Washington could have been a leader, as a state with early hemp regs, legal marijuana since 2012 and great motivated farmers and marketers ready to build an industry. Unfortunately, due to the extra restrictive (compared to pretty much ever other state) regulations that were part of the law and subsequent WSDA rule making for the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program (WSDA- IHRP ) , Washington has barely been a ‘hemp state’. WA has watched from the sidelines while neighboring state, Oregon has quickly- in just 3 years- become one of the top hemp producing states and the world leader in seed breeding for high CBD hemp with over 7800 acres in production in 2018. (2018 US Hemp Crop Report- )
As Washington residents, we have always been proponents for hemp in Washington, even though we had start and operate our business in Oregon. We are fortunate to live right on the river/border and applaud the ODA , Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and all of the great farmers and businesses that have been pro hemp and helped Oregon become a leader in hemp production in the USA.
While Oregon hemp has been very forward thinking and the industry is thriving, Washington is just barely getting legs… but things are happening!
On Wednesday April 24, Senate Bill SB5276 was passed out of the legislature and sent to Governor Jay Inslee for signature. While the Governor has personally contributed to the slow pace of hemp in Washington, due to forced veto of the budget lines needed for WSDA to administer the program in previous years, we are all hopeful he will sign this into law without delay. (Hemp IS good for the planet and can help climate change in numerous ways, which fits right into Gov Inslee’s agenda and presidential platform!)
UPDATE- 4/26pm- GOV INSLEE SIGNS NEW WASHINGTON HEMP BILL SB5276
This bill is the final morph of what started as HB1401 well over a year ago, when interested legislators met with other stakeholders and started to make a bill that was farmer friendly, affordably executable by the WSDA and compliant with the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, as included within the 2018 Farm Bill. (Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, signed by President Trump on Dec 20, 2018)
We have supported this new legislation all along, voiced concerns and issues in the early stages, attended and testified at multiple house and senate hearings once the bill was introduced this January and wrote letters and made calls. In the end, we have a bill that is much better than it started and is setting Washington farmers up to be successful participants in the greatest agricultural revolution in a lifetime- the return of hemp farming to America!
With the passing of the new hemp laws in Washington, we are pleased to share that we have been working to bring Washington grown hemp to market and are proud to do so in collaboration with Washington companies!! We are excited to be processing Washington hemp seeds, grown by The Colville Confederated Tribes and manufacturing a line of Equine Hemp Supplement and Nutrition products for Auburn, Washington based ‘TIGHT JOINTS PLUS’. Washington grown cold pressed hemp seed oil, hemp seed treats, Hemp CBD Horse Cookies and CBD oil tinctures (made with Oregon grown hemp extracts) are now available across Washington state and beyond from the Tight Joints Plus brand!