KINGMAN – State Sen. Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu City, is working to create Arizona’s hemp industry with Senate Bill 1098, which was unanimously passed Feb. 15 by the Arizona Senate.
Borrelli pushed a similar bill through the Legislature last year, but it lacked the funding to become a law.
His new bill allocates $500,000 to the Arizona Department of Agriculture and $250,000 for three full-time employees to the Arizona Department of Agriculture Plant Services Division.
The money will be used to meet department requirements such as establishing the Industrial Hemp Program, issuing licenses and maintaining records.
According to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, 38 states allow for the cultivation of hemp for commercial, research or pilot programs. Last year alone 15 states enacted legislation to establish such programs.
Arizona presents an ideal desert climate to grow hemp, which is a cannabis plant used to make rope, cords, textiles and beauty products.
“Hemp is so low in TCH that it is impossible to get high from, so remember, this is rope, not dope,” Borrelli said. “By establishing an industrial hemp program in Arizona, we are creating new jobs and expanding economic opportunities.”
SB1098 has now gone to the Arizona House of Representatives and is waiting to be assigned to a committee.