Industrial Hemp

On Wednesday, the Senate Jobs, Agriculture, and Rural Development Committee heard legislation concerning the regulation of industrial hemp production and research in Minnesota. If passed, the legislation would allow Minnesota to join a growing list of states which currently have laws allowing for hemp pilot studies.

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 when Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act, due to its relation to marijuana. Since then, research has found the THC content (the psychoactive components in the plant) to be 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.

Industrial hemp in Minnesota is an economic opportunity for the state’s farming and manufacturing sectors. Hemp can be used for many purposes: foods, paper, rope, clothing, building materials, vehicle parts and other materials can all be derived from hemp. 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.

The bill passed through the Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development Committee and has moved on to the Judiciary Committee. (S.F. 618)

Senate DFL Media