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Common Council committee passes resolution to amend state statute regarding industrial hemp licenses

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Alderman Khalif Rainey on Wednesday, April 10 announced in a news release a Milwaukee Common Council committee passed his resolution that calls for state statute to be amended so that people with criminal histories may receive industrial hemp licenses.

The resolution was passed by unanimously by the Judiciary and Legislation Committee. The full Milwaukee Common Council will consider it on April 16.

The resolution directs the City of Milwaukee’s Intergovernmental Relations Division to seek the introduction and passage of state legislation to amend the state statute prohibiting certain applicants with criminal histories from receiving industrial hemp licenses.

In the release, Rainey noted state law concerning who is eligible to obtain an industrial hemp license is more prohibitive than the federal Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.

The resolution directs the IRG team to work with state legislators to introduce and pass an amendment to the state statute to bring it in line with the less restrictive federal law — that a person convicted of a felony related to a controlled substance under state or federal law be ineligible for an industrial hemp license for a 10-year period. Current state law denies a license to anyone with a controlled substance felony no matter the time frame.

“Considering the feasibility study underway to determine if the Century City site is capable of supporting industrial hemp production, changing this state statute is critical to help ensure that more future licensees in our most economically-challenged neighborhoods can participate,” said Alderman Rainey in the release. “Those who have demonstrated rehabilitation should have that opportunity to succeed in this booming job-producing industry.”

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