Senate Bill 6 to legalize industrial hemp passed the Alaska House of Representatives this week. Total passage of the legislation would allow for a pilot program to be created. The pilot program would include regulations for industrial hemp cultivation and processing.
The bill was introduced in January by Senator Shelley Hughes, according to KTUU 2 News. Industrial hemp could create a significant number of jobs in the state. Some farmers in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough welcome the legislation as it would be a cheaper alternative for feeding livestock.
Hughes said, “The bill that was passed today defines hemp as a plant that is less than .3 percent THC. So it does not have the psychoactive response and a person could smoke acres and acres and all they would get is a cough and a sore throat. So there are no psychoactive impacts from hemp so it is now an agricultural crop product and is not under the marijuana statutes.”
Aaron Ralph, owner of the Alaska Cannabis Exchange, said, “Being able to grow hemp with 50,000 different uses for hemp is a no-brainer that we can utilize what we are growing here in some form or facet to help benefit Alaska and its economy.”
Senate Bill 6 is headed to the Senate for a vote.