Legislation to allow hemp to be legally grown in Iowa has been passed by the state’s full Senate.
The Senate approved Senate File 2398 today in a unanimous 49 to 0 vote. Filed by Senator Tom Shipley, the measure would allow hemp to be grown by farmers and researched by state regents universities and the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.
The proposed law would create the Industrial Hemp Council, which would consist of seven members representing the Department of Agriculture, production agriculture, the state university system, the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Public Safety, in addition to non-voting members from the legislature.
“As much paper as we go through in this place in a day’s time, there’s no reason why that paper can’t be eventually made out of hemp,” says Shipley. “There’s no reason why eventually a lot of our clothing can’t be made out of hemp. I would remind you that Henry Ford built a car out of hemp many, many years ago and fueled it on hemp oil, so there are a lot of possibilities out there. We just need to get out of our own way.”
“We need to develop new agricultural products and new agricultural markets,” says Senator Herman Quirmbach. who’s an associate professor of economics at Iowa State University. “We’re all aware that farm income is down and that the days of $7 corn have long since disappeared. The recent developments in international trade policy only serve to reinforce my view on this.”
Senate File 2398 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. If approved by the House, it will be sent to Governor Kim Reynolds for final consideration.