Guess what is more controversial than hemp in PA!
Yesterday was a great day for hemp. There was a committee vote to move the house side bill HB967 out of committee. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was confident that it would pass, but then again it’s politics and you just never know. Les and I walked in and saw many familiar faces. We had met with many of them and we were greeted with lots of waves and smiles. This certainly added a level of comfortability and confidence.
The meeting then got under way and the first bill up for consideration was a bill regarding transparency in milk prices. I don’t pretend to know the ins and outs of the bill and I don’t have an opinion on it. The representative spoke briefly about it and the chairman opened up the floor. There was opposition and they went about discussing the matter before calling the vote. The bill did pass out of committee with a vote of 15-9, if I remember correctly.
Then it was time for the hemp bill. I thought, here we go! The sponsor and champion of the bill, Representative Russ Diamond spoke very succinctly about the bill and what it does as well as the amendment largely suggested by the Dept of Ag.
Chairman Causer then asked if there were any comments. Representative Michael Carroll, who replaced Rep. Sabatina as the minority chair of the committee, then spoke. He talked about an amendment he was proposing to broaden the bill, said that if we are going to do it we should aim to make it as expansive as possible . This was exciting and encouraging to hear, but in the end he said that in the interest of keeping the the bill moving to the full house for further discussion and consideration, he was withdrawing the amendment at this time. I expect he is going to be a strong ally as the bill moves forward. He also pointed out that Rep. Flynn worked with Diamond on the bill and highlighted that this is very much a bipartisan effort. That is always wonderful to hear!
So after that the Chairman asked if there were any other comments…..
Then he asked if there were any no votes.
Then it was announced that it was being recorded as unanimously passed.
That was it, it was done. Seemed like it should have been at least a little more dramatic. It wasn’t even drawn out enough to savor hearing each rep vote yes. Nevertheless, it was unanimous! The meeting was adjourned.
I had brought some samples of our new line of Hemp Heritage soaps and lip balms. And I happily handed some out. Then I had the opportunity to give some to both the Majority and Minority Executive Directors. I had met both of them previously and both are wonderful women. It was good to get the opportunity to chat with both of them at the same time for a while.
We all had a bigger laugh when the Majority Director said with a smile, who would have thought that milk would be more controversial than hemp!
And that is just how it should be.
It was a great day for Hemp in PA 🙂