Lawmakers Push To Remove Ban On Growing Hemp

January 28, 2014

Some Arizona lawmakers are pushing to remove the state’s ban on growing hemp. The problem is the Arizona criminal code makes it a crime for anyone without a doctor’s recommendation to grow or possess marijuana, and hemp is a form of the same plant.

However, representative Sonny Borrelli says the ban makes no sense, especially since the United States allows importation of products made with hemp, like ropes, that are grown elsewhere. His bill would allow products that contain less than .3 percent THC, which Kathleen Meyer of the Pima County Attorney’s Office says will put an extra burden on resources.

“I’m going to have to wait for however long it’s going to take the lab to analyze that to tell me under this new definition is it hemp or is it a criminal possession of a controlled substance,” Meyer said.

Department of Public Safety lobbyist Katy Proctor says right now it’s easy to analyze pot samples sent to the DPS. Yet the new definition will turn a 10-minute procedure into two hours. Nine other states already have laws that promote the growth of hemp.