State House approves industrial hemp bill

Written by The Associated Press | Apr 7, 2016 1:18 AM

FILE PHOTO: A tractor cuts a small plot of hemp at a University of Kentucky research plot near Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/Dylan Lovan, File)

(Harrisburg) -- The state House has approved a bill to create a pilot program for industrial hemp research. 

The chamber unanimously passed the measure Wednesday.

The Senate approved similar legislation in March. 

Hemp can be used to make a variety of products including fabric, paper and fuel. 

Republican Representative Russ Diamond of Lebanon County sponsored the House bill.

Under his proposal, the state Department of Agriculture and colleges would oversee hemp research programs. 

Democratic Governor Tom Wolf has voiced his support for reviving the hemp industry in the state. 

Hemp was outlawed in the United States in 1937 because of its association with marijuana, but it has a very low content of the chemical used to make marijuana. 

Hemp has seen a recent resurgence because of imports from Canada.  

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