Bill could allow return of industrial hemp production

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The return of hemp production in Wisconsin could soon be up for discussion in the Legislature with Rep. Dave Considine, D-Baraboo, introducing a bill.

Hemp production has been banned since the 70s because of its association with marijuana.

Wisconsin was once a national leader in hemp production. Hemp can be used in a lot of products, including clothing and paper, but bill sponsors have to shake an old stigma before getting it passed.

Sponsors have been working to educate people about the differences between recreational marijuana and industrial hemp.

“This is not marijuana. It is not a mind-altering drug. This is an agricultural product that offers a lot of opportunity and potential to various farmers,” Rep. Chris Danou, D-Trempeleau, said.

Supporters of the bill said 20 other states have passed measures in support of industrial hemp for commercial or research purposes.