Senate Bill 266
149th General Assembly (2017 - 2018)
The General Assembly has ended, the current status is the final status.
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 3 RELATING TO THE CULTIVATION OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP.
Under federal law, the cultivation of industrial hemp is only permitted for agricultural or academic research. There is federal legislation pending that may lift the restrictions on the cultivation of industrial hemp. Delaware law does not prohibit the cultivation of industrial hemp and Chapter 28 of Title 3 permits the cultivation of industrial hemp for agricultural or academic research to the maximum extent permitted by federal law. Industrial hemp is used in a wide range of products, including fibers, textiles, paper, construction and insulation materials, cosmetic products, animal feed, food, and beverages. Hemp comes from the same plant as marijuana, the Cannabis Sativa L but has a much lower amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that causes the intoxication, than marijuana. The Department of Agriculture does not regulate industrial agriculture by specific crops, but instead, Title 3 has chapters on topics that impact agriculture broadly, regarding the regulation of areas such as pesticides, seeds, and grain inspection. This Act permits the Department of Agriculture to adopt any policies and regulations necessary to permit the cultivation of industrial hemp when federal law permits the cultivation of industrial hemp beyond agricultural or academic research and adds hemp to the definition of “grain” in Chapter 16 of Title 3. It requires a three-fifths vote because regulating industrial hemp may require the revision of regulations that would expand existing fees to hemp cultivation. This Act thus positions Delaware to immediately permit the industrial cultivation of hemp if and when the federal restrictions are repealed.