Fallin Signs Bill Legalizing Hemp Pilot Program

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Contact: State Rep. Mickey Dollens
Phone: (405) 557-7371

Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols
Phone: (405) 557-7354

OKLAHOMA CITY – Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation today increasing Oklahoma’s agricultural options by creating the Industrial Hemp Agricultural Pilot Program.

House Bill 2913 by Rep. Mickey Dollens, Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols and state Sen. Lonnie Paxton allows Oklahoma farmers to plant and harvest hemp. The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry will manage the program, which permits universities to work with farmers in Oklahoma to cultivate certified hemp seed for research and development for industrial uses.

“I am proud of this common-sense, bipartisan legislation,” said Dollens, D-Oklahoma City. “This measure could broaden Oklahoma’s economic base and become a steady source of revenue for our state. I’m confident the pilot program will reap valuable data that Oklahomans can then use to efficiently increase our agricultural and business portfolio.”

Through the Agricultural Act of 2014, the federal government enabled states to begin growing hemp as a cash crop for limited purposes. Industrial hemp programs currently exist in nearly 40 other states.

HB 2913 creates within the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry a revolving fund that will consist of all registration, lab, and inspection fees paid by program participants.

“Gov. Fallin’s signature was the final step for this smart legislation,” said Echols, R-Oklahoma City. “Good policy like HB 2913 provides opportunities for Oklahomans to work together in both the legislative chambers and on local farms. Beginning to end, this measure exemplified teamwork, and I’m happy to see it cross the finish line.”

Because the bill includes an emergency clause, the legislation takes effect immediately.