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Sen. Borrelli introduces bill to establish hemp industry in Arizona

Senator Sonny Borrelli has introduced a bill to establish the framework for an industrial hemp industry in Arizona. SB 1337 sets up the process for the production, distribution and commerce of hemp in our state.

The global market for hemp products is an estimated $580 million in annual sales. The passing of SB 1337 would allow for Arizona to take part in this profitable and expanding market. The development and use of industrial hemp has the potential to bolster the Arizona economy and to allow for the creation of new jobs that could not have existed before.

Hemp can help increase Arizona's agricultural vitality. While cotton is one the of the 5 "Cs" of Arizona, it is a thirsty crop that requires large quantities of water. Hemp can be used in products similar to those made from cotton, but grows using less water and less fertilizer. Compared to cotton, hemp grows faster and produces higher yields per acre, decreasing the environmental costs.

Hemp can be used for thousands of products, including lotions and beauty products, oils, rope, textiles, food and nutrition items and building materials.

"With the Arizona Legislature's focus on economic growth and development, now is the appropriate time to explore this burgeoning industry and to reap the potential profits it can bring," said Senator Borrelli.

SB 1337 is designed so this newly created industry is under the authorization of the Arizona Department of Agriculture. The Department will be in charge of the licensing, production and management of industrial hemp. Before a grower or processor license can be authorized, an applicant must pass a criminal background check. Other rules and regulations are put in place, such as record keeping requirements and registering growing locations, in order for effective oversite and legal compliance within the industry.

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