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09/20/2020 09:12 PM
Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20190&cosponId=30338
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: September 18, 2019 11:28 AM
From: Senator Timothy P. Kearney
To: All Senate members
Subject: Removing Industrial Hemp from PA's Schedule of Controlled Substances
 
I am introducing legislation to match Pennsylvania’s definition of marijuana with the federal definition in the US Controlled Substances Act.

Through the 2018 Farm Bill, US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell led the effort to legalize industrial hemp, creating new opportunities for farmers in Pennsylvania and across the country who have suffered from low prices in many commodity markets, such as dairy. Part of this legalization included removing hemp from the list of Schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substances Act by distinguishing industrial hemp from marijuana. Industrial hemp is the non-psychoactive relative of marijuana, but both are different cultivars of the cannabis sativa speciesjust as broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts are cultivars of brassica oleracea.

This legislation would update the definition of "marihuana" in Pennsylvania’s Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetics Act up to mirror the recent federal update. As the growing industrial hemp industry creates economic opportunity for Pennsylvania farmers and manufacturers alike, it is vital that we ensure our statutes don’t get in the way of economic development.

While the PA Department of Agriculture is already doing a great job at overseeing the production of hemp through its permitting program, there have been some notable hiccups of hemp businesses running into trouble with law enforcement because of the difference between federal and state treatment of hemp as a controlled substance. This legislation will give greater confidence to farmers, investors, and businesses and allow Pennsylvania to remain a national leader in industrial hemp.

Please join me in making this small but important statutory fix to help grow economic opportunities for farmers and businesses in Pennsylvania. For questions, email Sam Arnold at samuel.arnold@pasenate.com.



Introduced as SB936