ONTARIO — The House Committee on Agriculture moved the bill to establish the Oregon Hemp Commission out of committee to the House floor, voting to keep it out the Joint Ways and Means Committee where previous bills authorizing the commission had died previously to get it passed.

A hearing on House Bill 4051 was held last week, and the Ag Committee acted on it Monday in a work session, approving it with some amendments.

According to the text, the purpose of the act is to assist the hemp industry in developing, maintaining and expanding markets for hemp product manufactured in the state and consumption of hemp products in the state. The commission would also conduct research, and develop promotion and advertising efforts, develop ways to control get rid of threats to hemp including “diseases, pests and weeds, while supporting coexistence between hemp and other agricultural crops, including marijuana.”

Under the legislation, as amended, the director of agriculture would initially appoint seven people as temporary members of the commission, the majority of whom must be producers. With one processor and at least one member of the public, not associated with production or processing of hemp. The temporary members will adopt the rules of the commission, including the number and geographic representation.

Under the proposal, the terms of the temporary commission members will expire once the permanent commission members are appointed to the commission by the agriculture director, who may reappoint a temporary commission. The director and the dean of the Oregon State University College of Agriculture Science will be ex officio non-voting members.

In getting the vote of committee members to removed the subsequent referral to the Way and Means Committee, Chairman Brian Clem said, “We are not going to the graveyard.”

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