Pennsylvania Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee to consider Vogel’s industrial hemp bill


Pennsylvania Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee to consider Vogel’s industrial hemp bill.  

Chaired by Sen. Elder Vogel (R-47), the Pennsylvania Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee recently met, on Oct. 27 at the State Capitol East Wing in Harrisburg, to consider allowing industrial hemp growth.

Convening in Room 8E-B, legislators examined Senate Bill 50, which was introduced by Sen. Judy Schwank.

The bill provides for an industrial hemp industry in the commonwealth through the establishment of a permitting process within the Department of Agriculture to license and regulate the cultivation, growth and sale of industrial hemp.

Industrial hemp research was legalized by the 2014 Federal Farm Bill but must be authorized by the state. Over 50,000 potential uses are estimated for the crop, including textiles, building materials, industrial products, baby care, food, paper and energy and environmental products.

The crop, which differs from recreational cannabis and has no psychoactive effect, was cultivated for thousands of years by diverse civilizations; it was even commonly grown in Pennsylvania until the 20th century.

The committee also considered Senate Bill 735: introduced by Vogel, the bill would allow mobile retail food facilities to operate in multiple food-safety jurisdictions without having to pay multiple fees in each county of operation.

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