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State Senator

Cathy Osten

Representing Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Marlborough, Montville, Norwich & Sprague

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Sen. Osten Applauds New Law Allowing Hemp Production in Connecticut

HARTFORD – State Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) - a longtime advocate of legalizing hemp production in Connecticut so financially embattled farmers across the state can plant a new, in-demand cash-crop – today applauded Governor Ned Lamont’s Thursday signing of the bill into law.

Sen. Osten said the legislature’s quick, unanimous and bipartisan action on hemp, and the governor’s Thursday signature, will allow farmers to begin planting and harvesting as soon as possible.

“I'm very happy to see the legislature’s hemp bill signed into law by the governor; it will allow farmers to plant and grow a crop beginning this summer, and that’s a game-changer for the Connecticut agricultural community,” Sen. Osten said. “Hemp is a billion-dollar industry in America that only has room to grow. I anticipate our new hemp law will help the large agricultural community in eastern Connecticut, and it may even replace some of the tobacco crops that have fallen out of production in recent years.” Senate Bill 893, “An Act Concerning A Pilot Program For Hemp Production,” requires the state Department of Agriculture to adopt regulations establishing an industrial hemp pilot program in accordance with federal law. The pilot program will study the growth, cultivation and marketing of industrial hemp in Connecticut and ensure hemp growth and cultivation only takes place at sites certified by, and registered with, the state.

“This legislation will strengthen our efforts to grow our agricultural economy and create jobs, and do so in a responsible manner by opening a competitive market to thousands of Connecticut’s farmers,” Gov. Lamont said. “With this program, farmers will have the opportunity to bolster their profits with hemp, and veteran and first-time farmers alike will be attracted to a new and growing market that will offer crop diversification, increased revenue, and expertise in an expanding field. I applaud both chambers of the General Assembly for their unanimous, bipartisan support of this legislation. If we truly want to give an economic boost to our state’s farms, this is something we should all support.”

“We thank Governor Lamont and the General Assembly for moving this important piece of legislation – in a bipartisan manner – to open up and create new opportunities for farmers,” said state Department of Agriculture Commissioner Bryan Hurlburt. “Today is an exciting day for our state and our farming community. Hemp has the potential to stabilize the agricultural economy and attract new farmers to the industry while providing consumers with a locally grown product that is in high demand. The Department of Agriculture looks forward to working with our potential growers.”

Commissioner Hurlburt said individuals with questions on moving forward with hemp growing and processing can email the department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call (860) 713 -2502.

A hemp industry could prove a boon to Connecticut’s economy. It’s estimated that an acre of hemp can generate 500 to 1,500 pounds of dried flowers per acre, generating gross revenues of $37,500 to $150,000 per acre. The Hemp Industries Association notes that U.S. retail sales of hemp products totaled nearly $700 million in 2016.

Hemp has been grown for centuries for use in clothes, paper, and rope. According to the Congressional Research Service, there are over 25,000 different uses for industrial hemp, including fibers, textiles, paper, construction and insulation materials, cosmetic products, animal feed, food and beverages.

The Connecticut Hemp Association estimates more than 100 Connecticut farmers are interested in planting hemp.

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