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.