Two of Wisconsin’s senators don’t understand what’s taking Governor Walker so long to sign the approved hemp bill into law. The Senate and Assembly both approved the bill allowing for a pilot program for industrial hemp farming to begin. Following the passage of the 2014 Federal Farm Bill, states are able to make their own decisions regarding hemp.
Senator Patrick Testin authored the bill and reiterated its unanimous approval in the state, Wisconsin Public Radio reports. Hemp has hundreds, if not thousands of uses from food to textiles to use as automotive plastic material.
Senator Testin said, “We import $500-million annually of industrial hemp from Canada. This is a prime example that we can lessen our dependence on foreign imports by growing it right here in the state of Wisconsin.”
Senator Kathleen Vinehout has supported industrial hemp since her election. She noted that Wisconsin had the last operating hemp processing facility in the country into the 1950s.
Senator Vinehout said, “The crop was well-suited to our climate. It grew well, and it was profitable for farmers. Somehow in the 1950s, hemp got all mixed up with its cousin (cannabis) and poor hemp lost out. Over the years, people have realized that hemp is a commodity, like corn and soybeans.”
Governor Walker is still “reviewing” the bill and is yet to sign it. Some lawmakers fear that he won’t sign it, and none of them can come up with a single good reason of why he wouldn’t.