It's time to let Alaska farmers grow industrial hemp

It is hard for me to comprehend that we live in a state where it will soon be legal to cultivate commercial marijuana, but it is still against the law to grow industrial hemp, one of the world’s most versatile and useful crops. Last session I introduced Senate Bill 8 to change that. The bill moved out of the Senate Resources Committee last session, but has yet to be heard in Judiciary. Although the main issue we will be focusing on in the upcoming session is how to deal with the fiscal crisis at hand, it is critical we pass SB 8 before the 29th Legislature comes to an end.

I introduced SB 8 as one, but an important, way to diversify Alaska’s economy at a time when we are staring down a huge revenue shortfall, and the price of oil continues to drop. One bill, and the addition of one...

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