OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5780

AN ACT LEGALIZING INDUSTRIAL HEMP.

SUMMARY:

This bill legalizes industrial hemp by removing it from the state “marijuana” and “cannabis-type substances” definitions, thereby removing its status as a controlled substance. Thus, the bill allows industrial hemp to be grown, used, and sold under state law (see BACKGROUND).

Under current law, except for authorized medical purposes, anyone manufacturing or selling marijuana may be subject to felony penalties. Anyone possessing marijuana for non-medical purposes is subject to penalties ranging from a civil fine to a felony, depending on the amount.

The bill incorporates the definition of industrial hemp from a recent federal law. Under that law, industrial hemp means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of the plant whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of no more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2015

BACKGROUND

Federal Law

The federal Controlled Substances Act defines marijuana to include all parts of the Cannabis sativa L. plant regardless of THC level (21 USC 802(16)).

Under the Agricultural Act of 2014, an institution of higher education or state agriculture department may grow or cultivate industrial hemp under a pilot program or other research programs that meet certain conditions, if allowed under state law (7 USC 5940).

Industrial Hemp

Industrial hemp is generally differentiated from marijuana by its level of THC, with 1% THC considered the threshold for inducing intoxication or psychotropic effect.

COMMITTEE ACTION

General Law Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

18

Nay

0

(03/12/2015)