Washington hemp oversight restored after state allocates $100,000 for regulators

A $100,000 infusion for Washington agriculture regulators has saved the state’s hemp oversight program – but the lifeline has failed to convince the largest grower to plant another crop.

The money came in the final budget agreement at the Washington state legislature, according to Capital Press, which covers agricultural news in the Pacific Northwest.

Washington’s Department of Agriculture had threatened to cut oversight of the hemp program in its second year because earlier budget drafts include funding for it in 2018.

State lawmakers added $100,000 to save the program, far less than the $287,000 the agency said it needed. The state had just seven hemp growers in 2017, the first year it permitted modern hemp production.

Cory Sharp, who cultivated about half the 180 acres of hemp grown in Washington last year, says he won’t grow hemp this year. He cautioned other Washington hemp farmers to not plant too many acres.

“The processing has just not caught up with the growing,” said Sharp, who plans to focus instead on a plan to bring mobile decortication to hemp farmers in other states.

Washington’s hemp program still bans flower production for hemp-derived CBD, the most valuable use for the hemp plant. State agriculture regulators did not immediately say how many acres the state could expect to see in hemp this year.

One comment on “Washington hemp oversight restored after state allocates $100,000 for regulators
  1. Farmer on

    Here’s a can of worms. How to regulate the hemp crop so it’s production can become feasible for American farmers. Marketing is the biggest step to take. Market the heck out of the crop being domestic, make Americans proud of overcoming a hurdle as ridiculous as the prohibition of hemp.
    The questions are:
    1. Do we dis-allow the sale of hemp oil that is not domestic?
    2. Do we dis-allow the sale of CBD oil in the 502 stores (recreational) that was not produced by a licensed marijuana producer?
    Having hemp seeds, seed oil and CBD oil available to the mass market in grocery stores, vitamin stores and pet food stores has given the product household recognition. So, #2 above is out of the question.
    Now that the public is aware of the benefits of hemp derived products, it is time to market the product as domestic, BOLDLY.
    Take a look at the difference between the Oregon recreational market and the Washington market. Oregon focuses on CBD products, Washington focuses on THC products. Until this grand experiment has given the bean counters the data they want, we won’t be able to have free reign on growing the crop without oversight.
    What is happening in Europe and China that their hemp production is filling the demand so much that they buy Colorado hemp?
    1. Hemparillo cigarette’s are healthier than tobacco cigarette’s, they help to quit tobacco. Very popular over there.
    2. Our textile mills became one plant processors, cotton, and can’t process the tough hemp stalk. The political history of cotton farming is as dirty as the history of oil or opium.
    3. European and Chinese citizens are more familiar with using plant based medicine than Americans. They trust themselves to make the right health care choice.
    4. China has the textile mills to process hemp fibers. It’s where ALL our hemp clothes come from. they’re are engineering textiles to weave together to make hemp waterproof by weaving it with PTFE from recycled water bottles. It’s weaved with silk to make beautiful lingerie (but not for American women who think they can smoke the cloth and get high!).
    Until prohibition ends, market the heck out of the hemp product as domestic, Made in America. Push the Chinese and European buyers of hemp and processed good sellers out of the stores.

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