TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A measure that could give Florida farmers the alternative of expanding hemp as a crop for industrial utilizes won unanimous approval Monday in a state Senate committee.

The bill backed by the Senate Agriculture Committee would authorize creation of a state system to administer and oversee the expanding of hemp. The relative of the marijuana plant has been made use of for thousands of years to make all the things from ropes to developing components to animal feed.

Hemp is a member of the cannabis plant family members but consists of only traces of the THC chemical compound that causes a higher for marijuana customers. A federal farm bill passed in 2018 gave states the chance to create a hemp-expanding system that would be submitted to the U.S. Agriculture Division for approval.

“We want to be a leader in hemp, rather than a follower,” stated the bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Rob Bradley of Fleming Island.

That farm bill also legalized industrial hemp by removing it from the list of federal controlled substances. Nonetheless, expanding hemp for person use would be prohibited beneath the Senate bill.

The legislation also would enable pilot projects and analysis at the University of Florida’s Institute of Meals and Agricultural Sciences , Florida A&M University and any other state university agriculture system. These authorities, Bradley stated, would appear into any “unforeseen difficulties” and “go over the challenges and possibilities that are present” in the system.

The Senate bill subsequent heads to the Guidelines Committee just before it is prepared for a floor vote. A related bill is set for a Property committee vote Tuesday.

The Senate employees evaluation says 38 states regarded as industrial hemp legislation in 2018, ranging from bills clarifying current laws to these making new licensing specifications and applications. Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey and Oklahoma in 2018 enacted established hemp analysis and industrial hemp pilot applications, the evaluation says.

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