CASPER, Wyo. – The House of Representatives in Wyoming adopted Senate File 55 during third reading during their regular session Friday, 6. March.
The legislation aims to establish fees for inspection to ensure hemp produced in Wyoming is not considered marijuana and fees for the disposal of crops or hemp products.
Parliament passed the bill by vote 40-18:
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ayes: BARLOW, BLAKE, BURKHART, BURLINGAME, CLAUSEN, CLIFFORD, CONNOLLY, CRANK, DAYTON-SELMAN, EKLUND, EYRE, FLITNER, HALEY, HALLINAN, HARSHMAN, KIRKBRIDE, LARSEN LLOYD MAC, LOUCEN, LAURS, NORTHRUPE , ROSCOE, SCHWARTZ, SIMPSON, SOMMERS, STITH, SWEENEY, WALTERS, WASHUT, Western, WILSON, YIN, ZWONITZER
nays: BROWN, CLEM, DUNCAN, EDWARDS, FURPHY, GRAY, GREEAR, HENDERSON, HUNT, JENNINGS, KINNER, LINDHOLM, MILLER, OLSEN, SALAZAR, STYVAR, TASS, WINTER
apologized: BLACKBURN, PELKEY
Wyoming Legislative Services Office
As the House has passed amendments that differ from the version of the bill passed by the Senate on third reading, the bill will return to the Senate for a unanimous vote.
Parliament amended the bill at second reading.
Hemp can be legally produced in Wyoming as long as it does not exceed 0.3% of dry weight tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). When the facility exceeds that amount of THC, it is considered marijuana, a controlled substance illegal under state and federal regulations.
To ensure that hemp produced in Wyoming does not exceed the 0.3% THC content limit, growers are required to allow the Wyoming Department of Agriculture to test their crops.
The proposed bill establishes the following fees related to hemp testing and disposal:
- $ 200 per Chemical test sample
- $ 200 to the Department of Agricultural Analysis of production or processing activities
- $ 250 to verify that hemp or hemp products are “effectively” disposed of
When it is found that hemp contains THC that exceeds the 0.3% limit, manufacturers will be subject to corrective action plans.
“The corrective action plan may include reporting requirements, additional inspections, suspension of a license, steps necessary to recover a license, requirements related to the disposal of hemp or hemp products containing more than three-tenths of a percent (0.3%). ) THC on a dry weight basis, the bill reads.
The Senate amended this section so that the corrective action plan may require manufacturers to “notify the infringement to the licensee’s known creditors.”
House District Representative 02 Hans Hunt said this requirement went too far. He proposed an amendment to repeal the amendment to the Senate.
Hunt said that even when growers have no intention of allowing crops to exceed the 0.3% limit, sometimes “it will almost certainly surpass.”
“I understand we’re dealing with something that has THC in it,” he said. “Just because a crop tests above this limit does not make these producers criminally liable.”
But requiring producers to notify creditors that their crops have exceeded the legal limit could create problems with the federal government, Hunt said. He noted that banks are required to inform the federal government if they lend money to someone who grows crops, which turns out to be over the limit.
Hunt said he did not think it was appropriate for state law to include the provision that creditors be notified when a hemp crop in Wyoming tests beyond the limits.
“I just think this is a step too far,” he said. “I think it suggests that there is intentional criminal activity when there is nothing.”
He said such a language in the Bill could be a deterrent to getting involved in the hemp industry.
House District 59 representative Bunky Loucks agreed with Hunt’s amendment, suggesting that other provisions of the corrective action plan are adequate. He noted a practical issue with the requirement that creditors be notified.
“If there’s a hot test and the department is acting after that … they don’t know who (hemp producers) borrowed money from,” he said. “The department doesn’t care who the lenders are.”
He added that it is a bank’s responsibility to have an understanding of who they work with.
“Banks know their customers,” he said.
House District 06 Representative Aaron Clausen said he was opposed to the Senate amendment requiring creditors to be notified.
“This is simply an overreaction,” he said.
Clausen noted that banks have processes to monitor and report suspicious activity and that they could require manufacturers to report their THC test results without the state making such a requirement in statutes.
“All this could be done with loan agreements,” he said.
House District 14 Representative Dan Furphy disagreed.
“The problem is if a bank lends to one of these hemp developing companies, the banking regulations clearly state that the bank regulators will check whether a bank controlled, whether the hemp produced (exceeds THC) limits,” he said. “You will make it very difficult for banks to lend to this industry. Banks must report this to the federal regulators if it exceeds in order to continue to lend to this industry. “
House District 41 Representative Bill Henderson said the requirement to report to creditors should be kept in place.
“I would call for caution in this,” he said. “There is a regulation that we are obliged to do well. The banks have to report, all this is part of the business. It’s not excessive, it’s normal. “
Hunt reiterated that he thought the provision was too much.
“If we were talking about (state-legalized recreational or medical) marijuana, it would make sense,” he said. “In the case of industrial hemp, this simply goes a step too far.”
Parliament adopted Hunt’s amendment before the bill was passed at second reading. If they pass the bill at third reading, the bill would have to move back to the Senate as the House changed the version of the bill they received after the Senate passed the bill at third reading by a vote of 29-1 on February 13 . .
Further details of the bill are available online.
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