Wisconsin farmers can grow industrial hemp under new law

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican Gov. Scott Walker has quietly signed a bill that allows Wisconsin farmers to grow industrial hemp.

Walker spokesman Tom Evenson said the governor signed the bill Thursday but his office didn't issue any news releases about it.

The bill passed the Legislature unanimously. The measure's sponsor, Republican Rep. Jesse Kremer, tweeted Thursday that the bill will make Wisconsin a leader in hemp production. His tweet included the hashtag "AmericasHempland."

At least 30 other states have legalized hemp farming. Supporters say hemp has a wide range of uses and legalizing it gives farmers another profitable crop.

Under the new law, hemp plants couldn't contain more than 0.3 percent THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Hemp farmers with drug convictions would not be eligible for state-issued licenses to grow the crop.

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