ALABAMA LAWMAKERS OK BILL LEGALIZING INDUSTRIAL HEMP

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama is one step closer to researching industrial hemp production.

Lawmakers in the Alabama House of Representatives and the Alabama Senate on Tuesday approved separate bills to allow the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries to research industrial hemp production and its possibilities as a cash crop.

The legislation, sponsored by Republicans Rep. Ken Johnson and Sen. Paul Bussman, would allow universities to apply for growth permits and exclude industrial hemp from controlled substances laws.

Hemp is a form of cannabis that contains negligible amounts of THC, the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana. Hemp can be used in a variety of products, including textiles and food.

Bussman said hemp could boost the state’s agricultural economy.

At least 28 states have industrial hemp laws on the books.

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