Madison, WI – Hemp – it’s been called “Wisconsin’s Comeback Crop”, and earlier today, Governor Evers signed legislation to make that comeback compete. The Growing Opportunities Act updates Wisconsin’s hemp law following the passage of the 2018 federal farm bill.
Senators Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) and Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) partnered with Representatives Tony Kurtz (R-Wonewoc) and Dave Considine (D-Baraboo) to author the Growing Opportunities Act earlier this year. The bill accomodates changes at the federal level and incorporates lessons learned from the first two years since the crop’s reintroduction.
“It’s a big day for hemp in Wisconsin,” said Senator Testin. “It was gratifying to see this bill signed into law while standing with growers, processors, retailers and consumers from across the state.”
In 2019, the number of growers and processors increased exponentially. Rep. Kurtz, who grows hemp and other organic crops on his 260 acre farm in Juneau County, believes the bill will accomplish its goal of increasing confidence at every level of the industry.
“This is still an emerging industry,” said Rep. Kurtz. “Still, I believe that Wisconsin can be a leader in hemp production. Our farmers have the talent and the desire – we’re trying to give them the opportunity.”
Rep. Dave Considine, a former teacher and livestock farmer, is also excited about hemp’s potential.
“Historically, Wisconsin has been an excellent place to grow and process hemp,” said Rep. Considine. “I’m excited to continue to work on this issue so that we can renew this option for our state’s farmers and processors.”
Milwaukee Sen. Lena Taylor views hemp as a boon for both rural and urban areas.
“Milwaukee should be a leader in hemp’s comeback,” said Sen. Taylor. “For decades, the book was closed on hemp, but we’ve opened it up and now people across the state are writing the next chapter – and Milwaukee has a big role to play.”