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Wisconsin’s hemp industry to get boost under bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s hemp industry would remain under state control as it enters its second year under a bill the state Senate approved on Tuesday.

The bipartisan legislation is designed to help farmers, hemp processors, retailers and consumers as the industry grows in Wisconsin. 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 its program, Wisconsin issued 250 hemp-growing licenses. And the number of applications has increased more than 10-fold this year alone.

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 legalization bills.

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

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