Representative Dave Considine (D-Baraboo) was proud to announce his introduction of LRB-1692, legislation to create a state licensing process for the production of industrial hemp in Wisconsin.
“Hemp has a long history of agricultural production in North America, including right here in Wisconsin,” Rep. Considine stated. “Our state’s hemp industry thrived back in World War II, but then disappeared in the 1950s, partly because of misconceptions about its use. Given that so many other states now have statutes supporting industrial hemp for commercial or research purposes, it is critical that Wisconsin be proactive on this issue.”
The bill would not change federal law regarding industrial hemp production. It is supported by a bipartisan group of co-sponsors in both the Assembly and the Senate, including Representative Chris Danou (D-Trempealeau), who serves with Rep. Considine on the Assembly Committee on Agriculture.
“In the midst of such a serious budget deficit and lagging job growth, we need to work together to find ways to improve our state’s fiscal situation. Industrial hemp is an ideal opportunity to do this. The estimated U.S. market for imported hemp products was $36.9 million in 2013 – a six fold increase from 2005. Clearly, industrial hemp has major potential to build and strengthen Wisconsin’s economy and create jobs in rural communities,” Rep. Danou said.
Industrial hemp is already supported in the statutes of twenty other U.S. states, as well as neighboring Canada.