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New Hampshire House OKs Growing Hemp

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
The New Hampshire House voted to allow farmers to grow hemp -- a close relative of marijuana -- despite federal hurdles to planting the controversial crop.

Supporters pointed out that hemp, which has a very low content of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, has unfairly been characterized as the same as marijuana.

"You don't smoke hemp. A wheelbarrow full would only make you sick," insisted Hopkinton Democrat Derek Owen.

"Hemp is one of the oldest and most useful and strongest natural plants known to man," he told the House.

Peterborough Republican Andrew Peterson spoke briefly against the bill, urging the House to kill it.

But the House voted 190-76 on Thursday to send it to the Senate.

Hemp, known for its strong fiber, is used in a wide range of products, including clothing, canvas, rope, fiberglass, insulation, automobile clutch- and brake-liners, cement and paper. It can be grown legally in other countries, including Canada.

"No one confuses water with vodka though they look the same," Owen said.

Hemp can be grown only with permission from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. North Dakota farmers are currently trying to get DEA permission to grow hemp under that state's rules.

"This is in the end an issue of liberty. Small farmers in the state need all the help they can get," Owen said.

The bill would let farmers grow hemp after obtaining a permit. The state would issue licenses to grow hemp and be the sole supplier of the seed. The state also would regulate the industry. People with criminal records involving drug offenses within 10 years would not qualify for a permit.

The House passed a bill two years ago to allow farmers to grow hemp, but the Senate killed it.


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Source: BusinessWeek.com
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Website: New Hampshire House OKs growing hemp
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