While the effort to bring medical marijuana to Tennessee failed this year, lawmakers this week legalized the growing of its cousin, hemp.
Industrial hemp contains very little of the substance that gets you high. It can be used for a vast array of products.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains, passed unanimously in the Senate Wednesday and will now head to the governor’s desk for his signature.
East Tennessee farmers could be planting hemp crops as early as next year, but it’s still a long way off before Tennessee grown hemp would make its way onto the shelves.
Amber Keirn, the owner of Knoxville-based Hemp Monkeys, says this is a good first step.
“Hemp grows in 120 days, so you’ve got a fast growing plant that can be turned into clothing,” said Keirn.
According to the Tennessee Hemp Industries Association, Tennessee would become the 14th state in the country to legalize hemp farming.
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