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Hemp farming in Florida closer to reality in Legislature

Posted at 5:16 PM, Apr 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-02 17:16:33-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Hemp farming in Florida has moved one step closer to reality when a bill authorizing it cleared a House committee and is moving forward in the Senate as well.

The bill backed unanimously Tuesday by a House Appropriations panel would create a state program to administer and oversee the growing of hemp for industrial uses, a potentially multi-billion-dollar business. The relative of the marijuana plant has been used for thousands of years to make everything from ropes to building materials to animal feed.

Hemp is a member of the cannabis plant family but contains only traces of the THC chemical compound that causes a high for marijuana users. The Florida farming plan must be approved by the U.S. Agriculture Department and growing hemp for personal use would be prohibited.