By Phil Riske | Managing Editor
(STATE CAPITOL) – If enacted, a Senate bill (SB1225) that received voice vote approval Thursday will create a committee to study whether industrial hemp farming would be a valuable undertaking in Arizona.
The measure, sponsored by Yuma Democrat Lynne Pancrazi, is the result of federal legislation to legalize hemp, and other states have taken up similar measures to decide the viability of farming it for industrial use.
Phoenix Republican Kimberly Yee, who last year refused to conduct a hearing on medical marijuana research for PTSD, questioned why the bill called for a study committee instead of one composed of stakeholders.
Pancrazi said she wanted a “commission” to look at the issue, but that wasn’t affordable.
The bill would create a bipartisan committee of two members each of the House and Senate, a statewide farm association member, a county attorney, a sheriff, a public member involved in farming who has an interest in growing hemp, the director of the Department of Agriculture and the dean of the Agriculture Department at the University of Arizona.
The bill is expected to be read a third time next week.