OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Roland Pederson, R-Burlington, and Sen. Jo Anna Dossett, D-Tulsa, held an interim study Monday to investigate rural development through industrial hemp production.
“This study allowed us to see what industrial opportunities there are in hemp production,” Pederson said. “Hemp can be processed into fiber that can be used to make cloth, biofuel, plastics and much more, as well as other byproducts like CBD, grain, and seed. There are currently only 21 licensed growers in the state, and I hope that we will see that number grow in the coming years to benefit our state’s industries and local economies.”
The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF) oversees the regulation of hemp crops in the state. ODAFF was among one of the presenters at Monday’s meeting of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. Representatives from the Department of Commerce, Oklahoma State University, Omega Thermal Solutions, WECANNA, and the Oklahoma Industrial Hemp Foundation were also among the experts present.
“The hemp industry is not only an opportunity for us to create more jobs and new products, but be more sustainable,” Dossett said. “During the interim study, we heard from companies and industry experts who shared how hemp can be a sustainable alternative to some agricultural crops as it requires less water and almost all the plant can be used, creating less agricultural waste. There are many uses for this crop, and I am looking forward to seeing how this industry develops in our state. I also hope to see our state’s outstanding research institutions, like OSU-Tulsa, utilized to further study this plant and its uses.”
Hemp has been found to have over 50,000 uses and is the strongest natural fiber in the world. Each acre of hemp can yield up to four times as much fiber as an acre of trees. The plant is also drought tolerant, using just a fraction of the amount used to grow alfalfa or cotton.
For more information on Senate interim studies, visit oksenate.gov/publications/senate-interim-studies.
For more information, contact:
Sen. Roland Pederson at 405-521-5630, or email Roland.Pederson@oksenate.gov.
Sen. Jo Anna Dossett at 405-521-5624, or email JoAnna.Dossett@oksenate.gov.