New Oklahoma law will allow farmers to grow hemp

OKLAHOMA CITY — A new law signed by Gov. Mary Fallin on Tuesday will allow Oklahoma farmers to grow industrial hemp.

House Bill 2913, by Sen. Lonnie Paxton, Rep. Jon Echols and Rep. Mickey Dollens, creates the Oklahoma Industrial Hemp Agricultural Pilot Program.

The law will allow universities or farmers contracted by universities to cultivate certified hemp crops for research and development for industrial uses.

“Currently, Oklahoma can import hemp but can’t grow it. This will help diversify our state’s struggling economy and will provide a tremendous boost to the agriculture industry,” said Paxton, R-Tuttle. “This new industry will potentially create thousands of jobs and put hundreds of millions of dollars a year into our economy. There’s a strong possibility that it could easily become a $1 billion industry.”

The benefits of cultivating the plant is that is can yield 3-8 tons of fiber per acre per year, four times the amount that an average forest can yield. It also does not require chemicals such as pesticides or herbicides.


Oklahoma Senate passes permit-less carry bill

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Senate members passed a bill allowing for permit-less carry.

Senate Bill 1212, also referred to as the “Constitutional Carry” bill, was presented by Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow. It passed the Oklahoma Senate on Wednesday night by a vote of 33 to 9. If ultimately signed into law, it would allow for open carry without a permit.

On the Senate floor Wednesday night, Sen. Dahm said 12 states have already passed similar legislation; however, the measure was not met without criticism.

Sen. Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma, who voted against the measure, said it wasn’t properly vetted.

With the bill passing on Wednesday night, it now heads to the Governor.