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Bill creating hemp as Florida crop OK'd by Senate panel

Posted at 9:57 AM, Mar 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-26 09:57:48-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A measure that could give Florida farmers the option of growing hemp as a crop has cleared a state Senate committee unanimously.

The bill approved Monday by the Senate Agriculture Committee would authorize creation of a state program to administer and oversee the growing of hemp. The relative of the marijuana plant has been used for thousands of years to make everything from ropes to building materials.

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.

Growing hemp for individual use would be prohibited under the Senate bill.

The Florida hemp program would also need approval from the U.S. Agriculture Department.

A similar bill is set for a House committee vote on Tuesday.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)