Oklahoma - A bill to allow commercial growing of hemp is headed to Governor Kevin Stitt's desk.

Senate Bill 868 directs state officials to develop plans to allow for commercial hemp.

The House unanimously approved the bill last week.

Tuttle Republican State Senator Lonnie Paxton helped author the bill. He says the legislation will make the state's rules mirror those established by the USDA.

Paxton says doing that will speed up the process for farmers to start growing industrial hemp.

If the state doesn't line up its laws with the federal rules, Paxton says farmers would have to wait at least a year for another legislative review on the state level.

He says the government shutdown slowed the USDA in setting up the federal guidelines for the industry.

SB 868 sets everything up for local farmers to be ready to go as soon as the federal government allows.