Hemp could be coming to a field near you

Written by Craig Rhodes and Radio Pennsylvania | Oct 31, 2015 9:51 AM

(Harrisburg) -- Legislation has passed a state Senate committee that would legalize a new cash crop in Pennsylvania. 

It can be made into building materials, fabrics or food. It's industrial hemp, and Senator Judy Schwank says Pennsylvania could lead the nation in its production if it is made legal with her bill.

A possible obstacle? Schwank says some of her fellow lawmakers are afraid legalizing hemp will lead to legalizing marijuana.

"They associate this with recreational marijuana or the medical canibus and they worry that this might be a vehicle  to help move those issues forward in the commonwealth.  It has nothing to do with those other issues," she said.

Schwank's says her bill follows all federal regulations on the crop.  It would allow the cultivation and processing of industrial hemp as part of a research program at a college or university, and that would be overseen by a licensing board within the Department of Agriculture.




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