ESB 5372 Was Signed by the Governor!!
IHEMPAWA brought this legislation to Olympia as a collaboration of stakeholders working with the WSDA. Hemp processors and businesses are being asked for a hemp processing license and required documentation to sell and market in various states as well as for final products into export markets. Insurance companies and banks also are requiring documentation for processing locations. This bill allows the WSDA to offer a voluntary registration in lieu of a license that will provide the legal documentation needed in most cases for the hemp industry to enter interstate and international markets and do business in Washington State. Some processors will choose to have both the hemp producers license and a processor registration. Hemp processor is defined as a person who takes possession of raw hemp material with the intent to modify, package, or sell a transitional or finished hemp product.
The bill was amended from the original version to include a Hemp Extract Certification. A hemp processor may obtain a voluntary hemp extract certification to allow its use as a food ingredient in another state that allows the use of hemp extract as a food ingredient. WSDA must regulate hemp extract processing the same as other food processing and issue a hemp extract certification in lieu of a food processing license to a hemp processor who meets application requirements. WSDA's oversight is limited to certifying a hemp processor's compliance with applicable inspection and good manufacturing practices requirements. WSDA may adopt rules specific to hemp extract certification and must establish application, initial certification, and renewal fees. A hemp processor holding a hemp extract certification must apply for renewal of the certification annually. Applicants for certification must meet the same requirements as applicants for a food processing license including, but not limited to, successful completion of an inspection by WSDA. WSDA may deny, suspend, or revoke a hemp extract certification on the same grounds that are used for denial, suspension, or revocation of a food processor's license.
1/27/2020- The IHRP expired on January 1, 2020 per our new program legislation based on the 2018 Farm Bill language. The USDA has since extended the IHRP programs until October 31, 2020 but we are ineligible. Our program is not inline with the USDA Interim Hemp Rules. We are probably stuck with a 15 day pre harvest test of only the top 1/3 of the plant. Our post harvest test will not happen in 2020 or probably 2021 unless major changes are made to the USDA rules. We will find solutions because we are Washington but extra care must be taken and partnerships formed.
Below is our USDA Hemp Interim Final Rule Comments:
The Honorable Greg Ibach
Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20250
Re: Comments on USDA AMS Interim Final Rule Establishing a Domestic Hemp Production Program; Submitted by the Industrial Hemp Association of WA in conjunction with the Association of Western Hemp Professionals.
I am contacting you to comment as Bonny Jo Peterson, Executive Director of the Industrial Hemp Association of WA(IHEMPAWA) on behalf of our members. IHEMPAWA is a Washington State Hemp Trade Association started in 2017 and were part of a work group of WSDA representatives, legislators and members who spent a year writing the Washington Hemp Commodity Program legislation signed into law on April 26, 2019. We are also founding members of the newly-formed hemp industry trade group, the Association of Western Hemp Professionals (AWHP). As being among the primary authors of official comments, we cite it as illustration [citation in appendix], the main points of which are listed below:
Our proposed adjustments to the USDA Rules require that USDA develop a program which incorporates the following four critical elements:
1. A sampling program based on using a homogenized sample that consists of 25% -30% flower and the remainder being made up of stem/leaf and stalk.
2. A testing program that is at least 30 days before harvest or a post-harvest test.
3. A phase-in period for DEA lab registration.
4. Allowance to move a crop from field to drying facility prior to testing results even if that entails moving the crop between independent license holders.
To expand further, we would like to highlight some of the issues Washington hemp farmers had in 2019 under the IHRP with a 30 day pre harvest test using a whole plant representative sample. As mentioned, the 15 day pre harvest test is not long enough with testing turnaround time with harvesting and drying issues. Most first year hemp farmers planted late and harvested in late September and through October. Multiple hemp samples, sometimes 40 wet samples would be delivered on the same day to the WSDA contracted testing lab causing 10-14 day turn around times where farmers had to wait for testing results before harvesting and moving their crops to be dried off the licensed property. This fall had early frost and freezing weather.
One farm in particular of 100 acres, had to wait to 3 weeks past planned harvest without drying capabilities on site. Another hemp farm of 300 acres lost 40% of their crop with weather issues and harvesting difficulties. The 30 days is not perfect but is possible with proper sampling and testing procedures in place as we learn. The 15 day pre harvest will be next to impossible.
A post harvest test based on a homogenized whole plant sample was passed as part of our new WA hemp program.This procedure would be representative of product entering the market. Under the IFR, we our not able to use the procedure for sampling and testing as planned. A whole plant representative sample for pre harvest as we developed is cited in the appendix as well as for post harvest as a redline of guidelines along with testing guidelines. Filtering out the stems and stalks from the top 1/3 of the plant below the flower will not be representative as an example attached shows.
Washington is under our new program as of January 1, 2020 we do not have the option to continue under the IHRP due to state statue. Expedited changes to sampling and testing before the 2020 season begins is crucial to our hemp industry in Washington and nationally.
*Appendix is attached
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Bonny Jo Peterson,
Industrial Hemp Association of WA
(for the membership of the Industrial Hemp Association of WA)
Jason Zitzer, Trace Analytics
Dylan Summers, Lazarus Naturals
Bill Cyr, Unique Food Works
Robert Cook, Columbia Valley Hemp Co.
The 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law on December 20, 2018 legalizing Hemp in all 50 states!!!! Now there is much work to do in Washington State to bring us in line with the Farm Bill regarding hemp. Legislation has to be passed in Washington state to open up farming and the supply chain. It will be at least 6 months before the new hemp program will be in affect. Hemp field GPS coordinates and THC results are mandatory under the
2018 Farm Bill.
The WSDA must submit a proposal to the USDA for approval of our new program. The time frame for state laws to change will be after the 2019 planting season begins. The current program rules and regulations will be in effect until state law is implemented and new rules and regulations written and signed off on. There is a grandfather clause for those with IHRP licenses to move under the new program rules and regulations once set for the remainder of their license term. The IHRP expires on January 1, 2020.
IHEMPAWA is excited to be part of the wild west of hemp!
House Bill HB 1401 relating to a New Hemp Program was filed on January 18, 2019 in the Washington State Legislature! Once this bill passes in the House and Senate and is signed off by the governor, it will replace the IHRP.
Senate Bill SB 5276 then was a substitute bill based on HB 1401 and both have some amendments. HB 1401 is in line with the farm bill and fixes major issues that were part of the IHRP. The 4 mile buffer zone between hemp and marijuana is eliminated and the whole plant will able to be harvested. Seeds will be able to be purchased from other states finally. An amendment was adopted specifying that seeds no longer will be required to be certified.
HB 1401 was passed out of the Appropriations Committee and onto the House Rules Committee. SB 5276 was passed out of the Ways and Means Committee and onto the Senate Rules Committee.
WA Hemp Bill HB 1401 passed the House Unanimously on March 8, 2019 at roughly 5:25! We are getting closer to the Governor's desk. Once we get through the Senate, we have to get a signature and secure the funding. Having the WA House Legislature pass the bill with unanimous Representative support, is definitely a good sign we can roll this bill all the way. Both sides of the isle and mountain are behind our bill.
SB 5276 Passed the Senate Unanimously on Monday, March 11, 2019! Now we are on the way to the next round of committee hearings as the bills go through the House and Senate in the opposite direction. HB 1401 is now in the Senate and SB 5276 is in the House.
4/7/19-Every week we get closer to having our new bill passed and signed. This week the Senate Bill Sb 5276 has moved onto the Appropriations Committee in the House. The House Bill HB 1401 did not get a hearing in the Senate unfortunately and is officially considered dead upon senate arrival. Thanks for all who pushed for this now historic Original 2019 WA Hemp Bill HB 1401. We will have the same exact program as the language in HB 1401 since both bills share our ultimate outcome for farmers to plant hemp. This is our hemp program no matter what bill number gets signed by the Governor.
A hearing on SB 5276 should be scheduled in the Appropriations Committee soon.
4/16/19- Our Hemp Bill HB 1401 Passed the Senate unanimously after being resurrected during the soap opera, As the Hemp World turns! SB 5276 was not moving to the floor in the House due to nothing hemp related so Senators were on it and came to hemp's rescue. This last weeks episodes of crazy, nail biting twists and turns brings us closer to growing hemp this season. HB 1401 with all the scenes and amendments will be will be voted on once more in the House and the bill will be on it's way to the Governor's desk for a signature with in the next two weeks. There will be no more amendments. This show isn't over till the credits roll but they will roll our bill. Get Ready grow hemp in 2019!
4/24/19- This week's crazy, nail biting episode of As the Hemp World Turns, brings us even closer to growing hemp this season. HB 1401 is no longer in play but SB 5276 is and is the exact same bill. The Senate voted unanimously to pass the bill out of the legislature and is now on the way to the Governor's desk!!!
It is almost Go time for hemp in Washington. Seeds will soon be able to be procured from anywhere, the whole plant may be used as food and the 4 mile buffer zone will be eliminated.
Hello WA Hemp Supporters!
Governor Inslee signed WA Hemp bill SB 5276 into law yesterday, April 26, 2019! This is a bill we hijacked and substituted with the language from HB 1401 that we worked on for over a year. Even though it was not the bill number or Sponsor we wanted, it is law. We originally had a Senate companion bill SB 5719 sponsored by Senator Hasagewa but SB 5276 made it in 3 days before ours was filed. Senator Erickson did not write the bill as passed out of the first committee let alone the bill signed by the Governor. He does not deserve the historical credit on this. We have a WA Hemp Program we created despite him though.
It is Hemp go time!
The Final version of the budget bill under the WSDA funds the program for the coming year at $100,000. This final bill is $42,000 less for this year and is not ongoing as was originally asked for by Rep Sawyer of the 29th LD and Senator Hasegawa of the 11th LD Something is better than nothing as long as we can keep rolling this hemp cart up the hill! There is always another go around....
We will be continuing to work on Industrial Hemp bills with both Democrats and Republicans in the coming week, months and years to help set the stage for a strong and responsible agricultural hemp industry that protects farmers.
SB 6032-S Pg. 277, Sec 310, "(8) $100,000 of the general fund—state appropriation for fiscal year 2019 is provided solely for the industrial hemp research pilot program. Expenditures shall be prioritized for processing licenses and expanding the industrial hemp market."
Originally, House Budget Bill 2299 included language: "$142,000 of the general fund—state appropriation for fiscal year 2018 and $145,000 of the general fund—state appropriation for fiscal year 2019 are provided solely for the industrial hemp research pilot program". with an amendment added by Rep. Shea as: "Expenditures shall be prioritized for processing licenses and expanding the industrial hemp market."
Senate Budget Bill 6032 included the language: "$100,000 of the general fund—state appropriation for fiscal year 2019 is provided solely for the department to continue the industrial hemp research pilot project."
The two bills did not match, the House bill was the funding level requested by the WSDA.
Hello WA Hemp Supporters!
Governor Inslee signed WA Hemp bill SB 5276 into law on, April 26, 2019! This is a bill we hijacked and substituted with the language from HB 1401 that we worked on for over a year. Now we have to follow USDA Interim Rules for Hemp which does not match the New Hemp Program legislation. Our program is not inline with the USDA. We are working with the Association of Hemp Professional on the Federal level trying to change what we can before final USDA rules go into effect. The USDA comment period has been extended to January 29, 2020. In the mean time in Washington, unless we get the IHRP reinstated in the coming legislative session we will be stuck with a 15 day pre harvest test of only the top 1/3 of the plant.