Industrial hemp research bill passes in Nebraska

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska lawmakers have approved a bill that would allow the state to grow industrial hemp for research.

The measure won final approval Thursday with a 39-2 vote. The bill would allow the University of Nebraska and the state Department of Agriculture to grow industrial hemp.

Industrial hemp is a close plant cousin to marijuana, but it has only a tiny fraction of the ingredients that allow marijuana users to get high. Supporters say industrial hemp could become a good alternative crop for farmers. Opponents argue that legalizing hemp is a move toward legalizing marijuana.

The measure, by Sen. Norm Wallman of Cortland, was modeled after the federal farm bill that makes such research an exemption to federal drug laws.

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The bill is LB1001

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