2-517. Nebraska Hemp Commission; members; qualifications; terms; quorum; expenses; powers and duties; report; contents.

(1) The Nebraska Hemp Commission is created. The commission shall consist of the following members:

(a) The dean of the University of Nebraska College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources or his or her designee;

(b) One member representing postsecondary institutions other than the University of Nebraska; and

(c) Three members appointed by the Governor representing the following interests:

(i) Two Nebraska farmers with an interest in cultivating hemp; and

(ii) A manufacturer of hemp products.

(2) Members appointed pursuant to subdivisions (1)(b) and (c) of this section shall serve a term of four years and may be reappointed. A majority of the members of the commission shall constitute a quorum. The commission shall annually elect one member from among the remaining members to serve as chairperson. The commission shall meet quarterly and may meet more often upon the call of the chairperson or by request of a majority of the members. The commission shall be appointed no later than sixty days after July 1, 2021, and conduct its first meeting no later than thirty days after appointment of the commission. The members of the commission shall serve without pay but shall receive expenses incurred while on official business as provided in sections 81-1174 to 81-1177.

(3) The commission shall have primary responsibility for promoting the Nebraska hemp industry and shall have the following powers and duties:

(a) To appoint and fix the salary of such support staff and employees, who shall serve at the pleasure of the commission, as may be required for the proper discharge of the functions of the commission;

(b) To prepare and approve a budget;

(c) To adopt and promulgate reasonable rules and regulations necessary to carry out this section and section 2-519;

(d) To contract for services and authorize the expenditure of funds which are necessary for the proper operation of this section and section 2-519;

(e) To keep minutes of its meetings and other books and records which will clearly reflect all of the acts and transactions of the commission and to keep such records open to public examination by any person during normal business hours;

(f) To prohibit using any funds collected by the commission to directly or indirectly support or oppose any candidate for public office or to influence state legislation; and

(g) To establish an administrative office at such place in the state as may be suitable for the proper discharge of commission functions.

(4) The commission shall periodically report to the Governor and to the Legislature on hemp policies and practices that will result in the proper and legal growth, management, marketing, and use of the state's hemp industry. Any report submitted to the Legislature shall be submitted electronically. Such policies and practices shall, at a minimum, address the following:

(a) Federal laws and regulatory constraints;

(b) The economic and financial feasibility of a hemp market in Nebraska;

(c) Nebraska businesses that may potentially utilize hemp;

(d) Examination of research on hemp production and utilization;

(e) The potential for globally marketing Nebraska hemp;

(f) The feasibility of private funding for a Nebraska hemp research program;

(g) Law enforcement concerns;

(h) Statutory and regulatory schemes for the cultivation of hemp by private producers; and

(i) Technical support and education about hemp.

(5) The commission is authorized to develop and coordinate programs to research and promote hemp, including, but not limited to, cultivating, handling, processing, transporting, marketing, and selling hemp and preserving and developing Nebraska heirloom hemp varieties that possess characteristics of a unique and specialized cannabis sativa L. seed variety that exist as uncultivated, naturalized plants in the environment or historically have been commercially cultivated in Nebraska.

(6) The commission shall establish such programs with the goal of securing at least twenty percent participation by small and emerging businesses in the Nebraska hemp industry, including, but not limited to, cultivating, handling, processing, transporting, marketing, and selling hemp.

Source:Laws 2019, LB657, § 17; Laws 2020, LB1152, § 12.
Operative Date: July 1, 2021