A bill allowing for more business opportunities for industrial hemp, was passed by the Alaska Legislature today.
SB 27, if signed by the governor, would allow for the state to maintain a permanent industrial hemp program and allow for more broad interstate commerce of Alaska-grown and manufactured hemp products.
Hemp fibers have been used to manufacture hundreds of products that include fiber for injected/molded composite materials, twine, paper, clothing, construction materials, carpeting, clothing, and animal bedding. According to the University of Kentucky. Up until the 1950s, Kentucky was the leading state for hemp agriculture. Seeds are used in making oils, cosmetics, personal care products, and medicines. Hemp seed or oil can be found in cooking oil, salad dressings, pasta, and snacks.
In 2018, the Legislature passed a bill establishing a state Industrial Hemp Pilot Program. Congress passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which changed the federal requirements for the industrial hemp market.
“The passage of Senate Bill 27 will not only ensure federal compliance, but will also provide agricultural and manufacturing business opportunities for hemp and help diversify our state’s economy,” said Senate Majority Leader Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, the bill’s sponsor.
SB 27 passed the Senate 20-0 and the House 38-2, for a combined vote of 58-2. It is now on its way to Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s desk for his signature.