Until the passage of SB 5372, Washington’s hemp program did not issue any form of hemp processor registration. As a result, Washington hemp processors have faced barriers to exporting their hemp products to various other states because a growing number of states require evidence of a hemp processor’s registration or certification. Among other things, this bill establishes programs to remove these barriers and to allow Washington hemp processors to export their hemp to previously unavailable markets, which will create jobs and bring income to Washington.
Dorsey attorney Sativa Rasmussen helped draft the language within the bill related to hemp extract certification and testified in front of the House Commerce and Gaming Committee in support of the bill. Dorsey also worked extensively with the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) to come to terms to regulate hemp extract processing in the same manner as other food processing.
While Washington law does not permit hemp extract as a food ingredient within the state, and this bill does not change that, over 20 other states allow hemp extracts as food ingredients. Each of these states has its own rules and regulations as to what is required, but a growing trend amongst those states that permit such activity is to require that any hemp extract used in consumable products be certified as having been manufactured and handled consistent with traditional food processing standards.
Thanks to SB 5372, a Washington hemp processor engaging in the production of hemp extract for use as a food ingredient may now apply for hemp extract certification on a voluntary basis to certify the hemp processor's compliance with Washington's inspection and good manufacturing practices requirements.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture will now regulate hemp extract processing in the same manner as other food processing and will issue a hemp extract certification in lieu of a food processing license to any hemp processor meeting application requirements.
“This is a major victory for Washington’s hemp farmers,” said Dorsey attorney Sativa Rasmussen.