Panel looks to future of hemp in Pennsylvania

Western PA News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The House Democratic Policy Committee held a hearing Monday on the impact hemp could have on the state’s agriculture industry.

​Hemp was grown throughout Pennsylvania until 1937 when it was banned along with marijuana.​​ The 2018 Farm Bill allows farmers to grow hemp if they obtain a permit from the state Department of Agriculture.​​

This year, more than 300 permits were issued for more than 800 different growing locations.

​​”Now that it has been decriminalized, it allows the opportunity for farmers in the state of Pennsylvania to really start looking at a crop that can make them money and sustain their operations,” said Rep. Mike Sturla (D-Lancaster), the committee chair. “How we approach it in the future is going to be important to the economy in Pennsylvania and us moving forward as a leader in the nation.”​​

Pennsylvania was the second state to submit a plan to regulate hemp to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

​​Representatives from the state Agriculture Department, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, the U.S Hemp Roundtable, and the U.S Hemp Authority were among those who testified at Monday’s hearing.​

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