PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona farmers will soon begin planting commercial hemp under a 2018 state law that just took effect.
The state law backed by Republican Sen. Sonny Borrelli was to take effect in August after state agriculture officials set up a licensing and certification program. State lawmakers moved its effective date forward to May 31 after the federal Farm Bill passed in December and legalized industrial hemp nationwide.
Farmers and others involved with hemp must still get state licenses and the Arizona Department of Agriculture will oversee the program.
Brian McGrew runs the program for the department and says it is now reviewing about 200 applications and expects to begin issuing licenses this week.
The National Conference of State Legislatures says more than 40 states have established industrial hemp cultivation programs.