Industrial hemp in Minnesota is an economic opportunity for the state’s farming and manufacturing sectors. A bill to allow Minnesota to join a growing list of states with laws to allow hemp pilot studies is moving through the legislature.
Hemp can be used for many purposes such as food, paper, rope, clothing, building materials, vehicle parts, and other uses. Another benefit to growing hemp is that it can be grown on land otherwise unusable for common Minnesota crops like corn or soybeans. Currently, hemp products are legal to sell, use, and consume in the US, but must be imported from countries where the plant is legal to grow and process, such as Canada or China.
During WWII, industrial hemp was a widely produced crop used to support the war effort. In fact, Minnesota was a national leader in hemp production. After WWII, hemp was banned due to its resemblance to marijuana when Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act. Further research has found that the THC content (the psychoactive components in the plant) is vastly different between industrial hemp and marijuana. Industrial hemp has no more than 0.3% THC, whereas marijuana has between 3%-20% THC – you cannot get high from hemp.
STATUS: The bill is in the Finance Committee. (S.F. 618)
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