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Senate approves bill that would give Wisconsin’s growing hemp industry a boost

MADISON — Wisconsin’s hemp industry would remain under state control as it enters its second year under a bill the Wisconsin Senate approved Tuesday, Oct. 8.

The bipartisan measure was designed to help farmers, hemp processors, retailers, and consumers as the industry in Wisconsin explodes. It makes a variety of changes to align Wisconsin’s hemp program with the 2018 federal farm bill’s regulations.

In the first year of the program, Wisconsin issued 250 hemp growing licenses but applications have increased more than 10-fold in 2019.

Hemp and marijuana are both forms of cannabis, but hemp lacks enough of the active ingredient THC to get people high.

Democrats support legalizing medical and recreational marijuana, but Republicans have not advanced bills to do that.

The Senate passed the bill 30-2 on Tuesday. It goes next to the Wisconsin Assembly.

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