Concord, New Hampshire — The New Hampshire House voted Wednesday to allow farmers to grow hemp.
Hemp is a close relative of marijuana but has a very low content of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
Supporters argued that hemp has been unfairly tied to marijuana. Opponents said hemp should be considered in the same class as marijuana.
Hemp can be grown only with permission from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. Last fall, a hemp research project in Hawaii was shut down after it ran out of money and turned in its permit to the DEA.
The bill would let farmers grow hemp after obtaining a permit. The state would issue licenses to grow hemp and be the sole supplier of the seed. The state also would regulate the industry. People with criminal records involving drug offenses within 10 years would not qualify for a permit.
The 199-168 vote sends the bill to the Senate.
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