Washington: State considers potential Hemp curriculum for students
By Conor Devitt, The Daily Evergreen
A bill is currently in the State Legislature that, if passed, would require WSU to research the possible effectiveness of growing industrial hemp in the state of Washington.
Senate Bill 5222 would require WSU to study the “feasibility and desirability of industrial hemp production.” The goal of the bill is to see whether or not hemp could be a successful agricultural product in Washington state.
“I’ve been thinking about doing a hemp bill for some time,” said Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, one of the bill’s sponsors. “With I-502 passed I thought it would be a good time to work on hemp legislation.”
The university would not be growing hemp but rather studying its effect in other states and countries, said Chris Mulick, director of state relations for WSU.
If the bill passes, researchers at the university will do an agricultural and economic analysis of the effects hemp has had other places and predict what its level of success would be in Washington.
“It’s not just a matter of the merits of this product, but how it would be compared to the rest of the industry,” Mulick said.
According to the bill, industrial hemp includes all parts of the cannabis sativa plant as long as the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content is less than 0.3 percent.
THC is the principle psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
There are examples of hemp in important parts of American history. Kohl-Welles said Benjamin Franklin started the first hemp paper mill and the Declaration of Independence was printed on hemp paper.
The bill lists a variety of products industrial hemp can be used for, including cloth, cordage, fiber, food, fuel, paint, paper, particleboard, plastics, seed, seed meal and seed oil.
If the bill passes WSU will report its findings to the state legislature in January of 2014.
If the research supports the implementation of hemp into Washington’s agriculture and industry, the researchers at WSU are also supposed to recommend legislative actions that support its implementation.