- Associated Press - Saturday, October 14, 2017

JANESVILLE, Wis. (AP) - An advocacy group and two state lawmakers are trying to legalize hemp production in Wisconsin, decades after it was outlawed.

Rep. Dave Considine, D-Baraboo, and Rep. Jesse Kremer, R-Kewaskum, are circulating bills that would regulate industrial hemp in the state, The Janesville Gazette reported .

Hemp has plastic and fiber components that can be used to make furniture, canvas, fabric and other paper products.

Hempcrete - a form of concrete using hemp - could be used for insulation and add a new market for area farmers, said Marc Grignon, Hempstead Project Heart campaign manager.

Grignon said you can’t get high from smoking hemp because it contains less than 1 percent of THC, the main psychoactive part of the cannabis plant. Marijuana can have more than 10 percent of THC, he said.

“That’s why there’s so much controversy around it. The leaves look like marijuana,” Grignon said. “But the difference between marijuana and hemp is you’re growing hemp for seeds and fiber, and marijuana you’re growing for buds.”

Grignon said he works to disassociate hemp from marijuana by showing skeptics the different products that can be made from hemp, including briefcases, pens and bricks.

“When it comes to demystifying hemp, it comes down to a show-me approach. It’s not a tell-me approach,” he said. “What can you show me to say hemp is not a drug and we can use it for industry?”

More than 30 other states in the U.S. have legalized hemp for industrial, commercial or research purposes.

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Information from: The Janesville Gazette, https://www.gazetteextra.com

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