Oklahoma governor signs bill for commercial hemp production

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed legislation establishing guidelines for producing commercial hemp in the state.

The bill signed by Stitt Thursday authorizes the state Department of Agriculture to develop and manage a hemp production program under the 2018 federal farm bill.

The measure received bipartisan support in the state House and Senate, and officials say rules should be in place to allow for planting of industrial hemp in the 2020 crop year.

Hemp, like marijuana, is derived from the cannabis plant, but it contains 0.3% or less THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana. Industrial hemp can be used in paper, cosmetics, construction materials and other products.

Cannabis market research firm New Frontier Data has predicted that federal legalization could triple the U.S. hemp market to $2.5 billion by 2022.

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