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Panel sends Oregon hemp bill to Senate floor

SALEM – A bill allowing production and possession of industrial hemp on Oregon farms has cleared the Legislature’s budget-writing committee. It now is on the Senate floor.

hemp bill oregonBill sponsor Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, said he believes the bill will pass both chambers.

Prozanski said he believes the Obama administration is poised to remove federal roadblocks to hemp production.

Prozanski, who first introduced a bill legalizing industrial hemp production in 1997, said several elements combined behind Senate Bill 676 this session.

Lawmakers are better educated over the benefits of hemp, Prozanski said. Canada now actively produces industrial hemp. And several states have in recent years legalized the production.

Also, he said, the support of Sen. Dave Nelson, R-Pendleton – who is a co-sponsor of the bill – has helped generate Republican support.

“It will pass,” Prozanski said of the bill. “I am going to be shocked if it doesn’t.”

Oregon would become the 15th state to legalize industrial hemp production if the bill is passed and signed into law.

The bill calls for the Oregon Department of Agriculture to regulate the production.

Source: http://www.capitalpress.info/main.asp?SectionID=94&SubSectionID=801&ArticleID=52077&TM=72271.1

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