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State Sen. Sonny Borrelli’s bill pushes to get jump on hemp

December 20, 2018

A state senator from Lake Havasu City has a plan to bring green to Arizona, in more ways than one.

A Senate bill sponsored by Sonny Borrelli and signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey earlier this year allowed farmers to grow hemp on an industrial scale in Arizona, but under the law they must wait until August 2019 to begin production. A new bill filed by Borrelli this week would allow farmers to begin planting their crops two months earlier than planned.

“We want to make sure we start growing the first hemp crop in its growing season,” Borrelli said in a Wednesday press release. “This is a $500 million industry. It’s time Arizona is a part of it.”

According to Borrelli, growing hemp is gaining attention throughout the Southwest due to concerns over drought and future water supplies. Growing hemp requires a third of the amount of water it takes to grow cotton in Arizona, Borrelli said.

“More than half the states in America have pursued hemp legislation,” Borrelli said. “With our perfect growing conditions in Arizona, there’s no reason we can’t be the nation’s leader in hemp production.”

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