PA 15-202—sHB 5780

General Law Committee

AN ACT LEGALIZING INDUSTRIAL HEMP

SUMMARY: This act legalizes industrial hemp by removing it from state law's definitions of “marijuana” and “cannabis-type substances,” thereby removing its classification as a controlled substance. It thus allows industrial hemp to be grown, used, and sold under state law.

The act uses the same definition of industrial hemp as 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. (1% THC is generally considered the threshold for inducing intoxication or psychotropic effect. )

Under state 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. (PA 15-2, June Special Session, effective October 1, 2015, generally lowers the maximum penalty for possession to a misdemeanor. )

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

OLR Tracking: DC: KD: TA: cmg