Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) on Tuesday signed a bill aligning the state’s hemp rules with the federal government’s, the Hartford Courant reports. The measure expands the state’s pilot program, under which there already about 170 hemp-based businesses in the state with farmers cultivating about 500 acres of the crop.
The bill requires the state Agriculture Department to prepare a permanent hemp plan for federal approval, extends the licensing period for producers and manufacturers from two to three years, increases license fees for some industry sectors, outlines more stringent testing requirements, and expands the types of information exempt under the Freedom of Information Act to include hemp location and a producer’s testing results.
During the signing ceremony at a refurbished tobacco factory in Suffield – now a hemp cultivation site – state Agricultural Commissioner Bryan Hurlburt called hemp “the future of Connecticut agriculture,” according to a Journal Inquirer report.
“I’m very proud that the governor made hemp one of his priority issues last year and made sure that in the small call of a special session that we included it to make sure that we still have the opportunity for businesses like this to be successful in the state.” – Hulburt, during the ceremony, via the Courant
Lamont remarked that “CBD is remarkable for the variety of different uses it has.”
“We continue to evolve, and that is what hemp is about,” he said. “Farming is a big piece of our past, and it’s a big piece of our future.”
During the ceremony, U.S. Rep. Joseph D. Courtney (D), called industrial hemp “a tremendous opportunity for eastern Connecticut farming families.”
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