Nebraska is among 23 states that are currently considering legislation that would legalize the growing of industrial hemp.
Tom Murphy is the National Outreach Coordinator for the organization Vote Hemp and explains that hemp is used in the manufacturing of more than 25,000 products that range from textiles, jewelry, construction material, cosmetics, clothing and more.
Murphy says hemp was grown in Nebraska up until World War II there were hemp farms and processing plants that manufactured rope for the U-S Navy that were part of the “Hemp For Victory” program. The wild hemp that grows wild in Nebraska is remnants of that fiber crop. Murphy says this legislation would help rebuild that business.
If passed, farmers that want to grow hemp would have to get a federal permit. Universities and colleges working with the U-S Department of Agriculture would be able to grow hemp to develop seeds high in oil and fiber so the industry can once again thrive.