By Richard Rose
Arizona’s new SB 1098 hemp law stifles innovation by mandating Certified hemp seed, although none exists for its 31-37 degrees latitude.
Like Colorado encouraging new genetic breeding for that state’s hot and dry conditions, and rewarding Arizonans with new intellectual property, it instead requires paying high prices to foreign corporations. It also forces farmers to get fingerprinted (how does one fingerprint a corporation?) and makes it a misdemeanor to not be in the state agricultural pilot hemp research program when growing hemp. Processors and Transporters must be licensed.
Seed products must be rendered nonviable before processing, an unnecessary additional step and requiring special equipment. Silent on CBD, which is a good thing as the trend has been to ban it in hemp programs. Defers to the Feds (anti-states’ rights and 10th Amendment), but the federal Sec 7606 Farm Bill protections expire a year after Sen. McConnell’s Hemp Farming Act of 2018 hemp bill passes.
States have to write hemp laws now keeping in mind that when the Feds legalize, the whole ballgame changes. The states which liberalize their hemp programs fastest will have the advantage. Some, like Colorado and California, will need a vote of the People to change 0.3%, for example. But WV is already at 1%, so it could see a situation similar to that in Europe where Switzerland’s liberal 1% max THC created a new high-value hemp industry there, CBD hemp buds for smoking.