Nebraska Lawmakers Consider Legalizing Industrial Hemp

OMAHA (KPTM)- The bill to legalize industrial hemp farmingmoved another step closer towards becoming a law Tuesday.

State senators moved it out of committee and it will bedebated later in the 2014 session.

The bill legalizes the farming of hemp, a plant in the marijuanafamily. Nebraska State Senator NormanWallman sponsored the bill.

Wallman said in an e-mail there are multiple uses for hemp,including clothes, food, and fuel.

THC is the mind altering chemical in marijuana. Marijuanacan have anywhere from 4% or 40% of THC in it. Wallman said the hemp must contain less than 1% of THC.

Those people concerned said Tuesday that any amount of THCis a bad thing.

"There is still THC content inthat, so somebody could if they used an exorbitant amount still use that to gethigh," said Jennifer Green, with the LiveWise Coalition.

Josh Hurley said he has beenselling hemp seeds and oils at 'No Name Nutrition' for at least nine years.

"It grows naturally in NorthAmerica here and they do not allow us to grow it or harvest it so it has to be importedfrom Canada which costs us a lot of extra money," said Hurley.

The current 2014 Farm Billlegalized the farming of hemp for the first time in more than 50 years.Already, states are passing laws that allow farmers to cultivate it. Wallman wroteif Nebraska doesn't pass the law, it'll miss out on revenue.

" If Nebraska doesn't dosomething soon we will be very behind other states," wrote Wallman, in ane-mail to Fox 42.

The bill originally required farmers to pass a criminal background check, but a pending amendment from the judiciary committee struck that part out.

The bill will be debated on the floor in the2014 session.