In Celebration of “Wisconsin Hemp Day” Six Legislators Recognized as Hemp Heroes

Valley Sentinel staff, via the Wisconsin Hemp Alliance

Madison, Wis. – With a gubernatorial proclamation declaring October 18 as “Wisconsin Hemp Day”, the Wisconsin Hemp Alliance recognized six legislators for, “their outstanding leadership in promoting hemp and their unwavering commitment to fighting for our state’s hemp farmers.” 

“The last four years have seen a whirlwind of activity for the movement to legalize hemp in Wisconsin  and around the country,” stated Rob Richard, President of the Wisconsin Hemp Alliance. “Fortunately,  Wisconsin has an incredible bi-partisan group of leaders at both the state and federal level who vigorously and consistently fight to regulate hemp as an agricultural commodity and give our farmers the opportunity  to grow and process this very versatile and sustainable crop.”  

The Hemp Hero Award is given, “in recognition of exceptional leadership and support for the hemp  industry.” Meeting this threshold may include; authoring or co-sponsoring legislation to foster research, regulation and market opportunities for hemp and hemp by-products; co-signing letters to government leaders or agency officials to help break down bureaucratic barriers; and actively promoting hemp and  hemp farmers in the media, at conferences or other public gatherings.  

Recipients of the inaugural 2020 “Hemp Hero” awards are: 

—State Senator Patrick Testin
(R-Stevens Point)  

—State Senator Lena Taylor

—State Representative Tony Kurtz (R-Wonewoc) 

—State Representative Dave
Considine (D-Baraboo) 

—Congressman Mark Pocan
(D, WI 2nd District) 

—Congressman Glenn Grothman
(R, WI 6th District) 

“After nearly 70 years of hemp prohibition, we need to thank all those officials who did not forget  Wisconsin’s long and storied history of being a national leader in hemp production in the first half of the  twentieth century. Along with Pocan and Grothman, Congressman Ron Kind, Congressman Mike  Gallagher, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Senator Tammy Baldwin and Senator Ron Johnson all  supported the position to remove hemp from the Controlled Substances Act,” Richard continued. 

Considine was a co-author of 2019 Senate Bill 188, which was signed into law by Governor Tony Evers on November 26, 2019. The bill had bipartisan support and aligned state law with changes made in the 2018 Federal Farm Bill.

“Wisconsin farmers have always been diversified. That has been their strength. Hemp is not a total solution to the agricultural problems we’re seeing today. However, it’s yet another means for diversification. I am proud to have worked on this to ensure our farmers have another avenue for producing and manufacturing goods,” said Considine.

Richard concluded, “also, considering that the Wisconsin Legislature was the first legislative body in the country to unanimously pass a hemp pilot program into law, we are very fortunate to have such strong support amongst the congressional delegation and state legislature for this new and growing industry.”  

The Wisconsin Hemp Alliance is a state association bringing together growers, processors, retailers and consumers to further engage in the advocacy, education and promotion of hemp and hemp products.