Kansas lawmakers advance proposal to promote industrial hemp

March 24, 2017 - 9:38 pm

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators who have resisted proposals to legalize marijuana for medical use are advancing a proposal aimed at making the state an industrial hemp powerhouse.

The state House gave first-round approval Friday on a voice vote to a bill that would allow state universities and colleges to grow industrial hemp and conduct research on it. The House plans to take a final vote Monday to determine whether the measure goes to the Senate.

A 2014 federal law allowed states to set up such programs. Supporters said hemp could become a big crop for Kansas farmers.

A majority of states have legalized medical marijuana, but even limited proposals have foundered in Kansas.

The House bill would define industrial hemp as cannabis containing 0.3% or less of the high-producing chemical THC.

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