Wisconsin hemp law advances to governor’s desk

A bill authorizing hemp cultivation in Wisconsin awaits the signature of Republican Gov. Scott Walker after both chambers of the state legislature unanimously approved the measure.

But Walker isn’t saying whether he’ll sign it into law.

A spokesman told The Associated Press the governor would review the bill but did not commit to signing it.

The bill would make Wisconsin the 35th state to allow limited hemp production.

The measure:

  • Directs the University of Wisconsin to administer voluntary seed certification.
  • Allows the university to work on seed containing up to 1 percent THC, though it stipulates that growers and processors can use only plants that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC, the general standard for nonintoxicating hemp.
  • Mandates that the state work on creating a “Wisconsin heritage seed” for hemp.
  • Requires Native American tribes to acquire licenses from the state Department of Agriculture before growing hemp. Earlier this year, the St. Croix Chippewa tribe in northern Wisconsin voted to start growing hemp in an old fish hatchery, though production has not begun.

A decision by Walker is expected by mid-December.

If he does not veto the bill, it would become law without his signature.