Oregon Legislature fails to approve state hemp commission

(Information from: East Oregonian, http://www.eastoregonian.com)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A proposal for an Oregon Hemp Commission has died in a Legislative committee.

The East Oregonian reported Friday that the proposal for a commission to raise research funds for Oregon’s hemp industry failed to pass the Joint Ways and Means Committee in June.

The committee approves budget measures in each legislative session; a similar proposal was rejected by the committee two years ago.

An Oregon State University researcher says an industry-wide organization would help increase understanding of the difficulties faced by hemp growers.

Annual hemp production in Oregon has increased from less than a square mile (2.6 square kilometers) to more than 78 square miles (202 square kilometers) in the past five years.

Officials say Oregon already has 23 commodity commissions that collect assessment fees from farmers, ranchers and fishermen.