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Industrial Hemp Bill Heads to Governor

The Indiana Senate voted Thursday to approve a bill permitting the cultivation and production of industrial hemp in the state if and when the federal government lifts a ban on that activity.

The measure now goes to Governor Mike Pence for his consideration.

State Senator Richard Young of Milltown says Southern Indiana produced industrial hemp rope as part of the war effort during World War II when the United States encouraged all farmers to grow hemp.

However, he says the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 erroneously linked industrial hemp with its intoxicating cousin marijuana and outlawed production of either, despite their differences.

Senator Young says industrial hemp can be a vital economic development tool for farmers and manufacturers once the federal government decides to end its prohibition.