Written by M. Sean High - Staff Attorney
On October 27, 2015, the Pennsylvania Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee voted unanimously (11 – 0) to advance legislation (S.B. 50) that would allow for the legalization of the commercial growth and processing of industrial hemp within the Commonwealth.
Accordingto co-sponsoring Senators Judith Schwank (D – Berks) and Mike Folmer (R – Dauphin/Lebanon/York), the proposed legislation would “provide for an industrial hemp industry in the Commonwealth through the establishment of an Industrial Hemp Licensing Board within the Department of Agriculture to license and regulate the cultivation, growth and sale of industrial hemp. Members of the board would be the president of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, the Secretary of Agriculture and the Commissioner of Professional and Occupational Affairs, or their designees; two public members appointed by the governor; and two representatives of state-related universities and research institutions in the commonwealth appointed by the governor.”
With the October 27, 2015 Pennsylvania Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee approval, S.B. 50 now advances to the full Pennsylvania Senate where the bill will be placed on the legislative calendar and await debate on the Senate floor.