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Senate votes to study industrial hemp

The Senate voted against letting New Hampshire farmers legally grow industrial hemp and instead proposed establishing a committee to study the idea.

The Senate voted yesterday to amend a House-passed bill that would forbid industrial hemp, a botanical cousin to marijuana, from being listed as a controlled substance. The bill now goes back to the House.

Supporters say hemp was once an important crop in the United States, but has not been grown in New Hampshire for decades. They say the plant has lower levels of THC, a principal chemical in cannabis, than marijuana and can be used for a variety of non-illicit products.

The proposed study would examine the viability of a hemp crop and develop procedures for destroying crops not in compliance with state and federal regulations.

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