A bill that breaks down barriers for the farming of industrial hemp in Delaware was just signed into law by Governor John Carney.
Here’s What You Need to Know
- Under existing federal laws, the cultivation of industrial hemp is only permitted for agricultural or academic research.
- There is federal legislation pending that may lift the restrictions on the cultivation of industrial hemp.
- Current Delaware laws do not prohibit the cultivation of industrial hemp, however Chapter 28 of Title 3 needed to be amended to allow the state to adopt any policies and regulations necessary to permit the cultivation of industrial hemp beyond agricultural or academic research when federal law allows.
- Delaware Senate Bill 266, a.k.a. the Delaware Industrial Hemp Farming Bill, positions Delaware to immediately permit the industrial cultivation of hemp if and when the federal restrictions are repealed.
- Introduced on June 26th, 2018 and recently passed on August 28th, 2018, the Bill also added hemp to the definition of “grain” in Chapter 16 of Title 3.
- According to a recent press release from Delaware’s Council on Farm and Food Policy, Agriculture is Delaware’s top industry, providing 20,000 jobs and $8 billion of economic activity including $1.2 billion in direct sales from 2,500 family farms.
- Delaware farmers currently produce a wide variety of agricultural products on approximately 500,000 acres of farmland, including fruits and vegetables, poultry, corn, wheat, and soybeans.
- The addition of industrial hemp to this list brings Delaware farmers one step closer to having a new crop to diversify their farming operations.
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