A measure to legalize marijuana was not passed the last legislative session, but a bill paving the way for industrial hemp and another bill allowing for the expungement of marijuana-related convictions were. Gov. John Carney has recently signed them both into law.

During a two-day, bill-signing extravaganza, Aug. 28 and Aug. 29, Carney signed 29 pieces of legislation into law, and the hemp farming and marijuana expungement bills were among them.

The Delaware Industrial Hemp Farming bill, Senate Bill 266, permits the Delaware Department of Agriculture to classify hemp as a grain and gives farmers the ability to immediately start cultivating the crop once the federal government passes the 2018 Farm Bill. Wording in the federal bill removes the ban on the production of industrial hemp.

In a prepared statement Aug. 28, Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse said Delaware farmers will be one step closer to a new crop to diversify their farming operations.

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