Hemp production is now legalized after the Farm Bill passed through the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.
Hemp is the male part of the cannabis plant. Marijuana, the female part, gets people high. Hemp does not.
Hemp has historically been used for products including rope, clothes, and paper, although its production in the United States was banned decades ago when it was lumped in with marijuana in the war against drugs.
Under the Farm Bill provision, a test program lets 10 states grow industrial hemp for research.
The bill allows universities or state departments of agriculture to grow hemp for academic or agricultural research.
The 10 states had already legalized industrial hemp farming through state law but the federal acknowledgement of the legality should bolster the research and production.
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, one of the states, said in a statement that “We are laying the groundwork for a new commodity market for Kentucky farmers.”
The other states are Colorado, Washington, California, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia