Wisconsin industrial hemp bill sponsor sends second letter requesting public hearing

Rep. Dave Considine (D-Baraboo), lead sponsor of AB215, Wisconsin’s bipartisan industrial hemp legislation, has written a second letter to the chair of the Assembly’s Committee on State Affairs and Government Operations, Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) requesting a public hearing on the bill. Considine had sent the first letter requesting a hearing to Rep. Swearingen on Sept. 16.

Here is the full text of Rep. Considine’s letter:

October 29 , 2015

Representative Rob Swearingen, Chair
Assembly Committee on State Affairs and Government Operations
State Capitol, Room 123 West
PO Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708

Dear Representative Swearingen,

I am writing to reiterate my request for a public hearing on Assembly Bill (AB) 215, relating to the growing and processing of industrial hemp, which was referred to the Assembly Committee on State Affairs and Government Operations on May 14, 2015. I had h oped for a response to my previous letter, dated September 15, before the Legislature began the fall session, but I believe now is still an ideal time to hold a public hearing on this bill.

As I wrote in my first letter to your office in September, Wisco nsin ’s hemp industry thrived through out World War II, but disappeared in the 1950s, partly because of postwar market forces and misconceptions about its use. Perhaps the most important distinction to make is that although hemp and marijuana do come from th e same plant species, their genetic makeup and production are very different.  Hemp cannot be used for mind – altering or medicinal purposes, and marijuana cannot be used to make hemp products.

As we work together to find ways to grow our economy, particular ly our agricultural economy, it is clear that industrial hemp is an ideal way to do this.  AB 215 could help Wisconsin catch up to the rest of the nation, while generating revenue and creating jobs: twenty other U.S. states now have statutes supporting indu strial hemp for commercial or research purposes . AB 215 presents a valuable opportunity for our state. This bill is modeled on previous industrial hemp legislation, and it has been supported by citizens and legislators from both sides of the aisle.  It is time to start moving our agricultural industry forward.  I respectfully urge you to hold a public hearing on AB 215 to allow Wisconsinites a fair and thorough discussion of this issue.

Thank you for your consideration.  I look forward to hearing from you.


Rep. Dave Considine
81st Assembly District


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