Wisconsin: Advocates say Hemp could become a Cash Crop in Wisconsin

March 3, 2010 – MADISON (WPR) It could soon be legal to grow hemp for industrial purposes in Wisconsin, depending on what comes of two hemp bills pending in the state legislature.

One bill would allocate money for a study on what the marketing future of hemp might be if farmers were allowed to grow it. The other would set up a licensing procedure for farmers who want to grow the plant and sell it for its seed oil or as a fiber for making paper and other products.

Because hemp contains a small amount of THC — the active intoxicating ingredient in marijuana — the federal Drug Enforcement Agency has refused to allow it to be grown as a commercial crop.

Hemp bill sponsor Rep. Louis Molepske of Stevens Point says if his bill passes, farmers would be ready to start sowing hemp seeds when and if the federal government lifts the ban. He says nine states have already passed similar bills. Molepske says hemp is not marijuana, and Wisconsin could return to being a leading producer of hemp, as it was through the 1960’s.

State law enforcement officials have cautioned against legalizing hemp. At a hearing last week, an analyst from the state crime lab testified against the bill, saying it would create a problem for him in his work because he would likely be called upon to test hemp plants to make sure they fall below the legal limit for percentage THC. By Gil Halsted. Source.

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