Bill introduced in State Legislature to speed up ability to grow hemp

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- Farmers are getting ready to roll out a new crop in 2019.

The legalization of hemp has been in the works in Arizona for awhile, but now that the farm bill sailed through, lawmakers here want to clear the red tape and get the green they're looking for.

Hemp might be a cash crop with a bunch of uses, but detractors say it's just a cover for the other kind of green. The wheels are already in motion for hemp growth in Arizona, and one lawmaker is anxious to put the pedal to the medal.

"Everything from clothing and rope, and like I say, 'Is rope not dope?'" said State Sen. Sonny Borrelli.

The push for green cultivation in Arizona is looking to get the green flag a little sooner. State lawmakers slowed down the start of it until next August, because it would allow everyone to cut through red tape. Now with the farm bill passed in Washington, everyone is ready to go, and State Sen. Borrelli is ready to speed it up.

"That way on June 1, we can actually start planting," said State Sen. Borrelli.

The potential boon to the arizona economy can best be described in hemp's flexibility.

"You only can get one planting a year for cotton. With hemp, you can plant it once, and get up to four cuttings per year," said State Sen. Borrelli. "That's a huge yield for a farmer."

Supporters say it's just the beginning of a windfall

"Got a thousand different uses, from CBD oils to shampoos, lotions, all kinds of things," said State Sen. Borrelli. "Clothing, hemp paper, our founding documents were written on hemp paper."

Just don't expect the product to go up in smoke.

"They're going to be very disappointed if they try to smoke hem, because I like to equate it to if you expect to get high on hemp is expecting to get drunk on a case of o'douls," said State Sen. Borrelli.

Several law enforcement officials around the country have said that hemp makes it tougher for officers, but 35 different states have already been experimenting with it for almost five years now, including Kentucky, which has seen $16 million in profit so far.