Rep. Dave Considine (D-Baraboo) rolled out his bipartisan industrial hemp bill LRB-1692 in a press conference Wednesday in the Assembly Parlor at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Also speaking was Rep. Chris Danou (D-Trempeleau), who along with Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) is a co-author of the legislation.
Rep. Danou and Sen. Vinehout were also co-authors of last session’s bill AB638 along with former Sen. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) who retired. Considine said that at least one Republican is a cosponsor of LRB-1692, as Cannabadger reported in an earlier post. He said he had positive feedback from other Republicans and hopes to see more cosponsors from that side, noting this is not a partisan issue.
The next step will be submitting LRB-1692 to the assembly clerk where it will receive a bill number and committee assignment. Considine said AB638 was assigned by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to the Assembly Committee on Consumer Protection last session, and he hoped that LRB-1692 would assign it to a more appropriate committee such as the Assembly Committee on Agriculture, of which both Considine and Danou are members.
Here is the text of the press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 6, 2015
Contact: Rep. Dave Considine
(608) 266 – 7746
Rep. Considine Introduces Industrial Hemp Bill
Madison – Today, Representative Dave Considine (D – Baraboo) was proud to announce his introduction of LRB – 1692, legislation to create a state licensing process for the production of industrial hemp in Wisconsin.
“Hemp has a long history of agricultural production in North America, including right here in Wisconsin,” Rep. Considine stated. ” Our state’s hemp industry thrived back in World War II, but then disappeared in the 1950s , partly because of misconceptions about its use. Given that so many other states now have statutes supporting industrial hemp for commercial or research purposes , it is critical that Wisconsin be proactive on this issue.”
The bill would not change federal law regarding industrial hemp production. It is supported by a bipartisan group of co – sponsors in both the Assembly and the Senate, including Representative Chris Danou (D – Trempealeau), who serves with Rep. Considine on the Assembly Committee on Agriculture.
“In the midst of such a serious budget deficit and lagging job growth , we need to work together to find ways to improve our state’s fiscal situation . Industrial hemp is an ideal opportunity to do this . The estimated U.S. market for imported hemp products was $36.9 million in 2013 – a six fold increase from 2005. Clearly, industrial hemp has major potential to build and strengthen Wisconsin’s economy an d create jobs in rural communities,” Rep. Danou said.
Industrial hemp is already supported in the statutes of twenty other U.S. states, as well as neighboring Canada.
Here are a couple short video clips from the press conference: