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Missouri House votes to legalize growing industrial hemp

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Missouri would legalize the growing of industrial hemp as a raw material for manufacturing under a measure advancing in the Legislature.

The House on Monday voted 123-29 to pass the legislation and send it to the Senate.

The bill would legalize and regulate the cultivation of hemp, which contains very low levels of the psychoactive chemical tetrahydrocannabinol in marijuana.

Sponsor Republican Rep. Paul Curtman touts the bill as an economic development boost.

Businesses seeking to grow hemp would have to go through a licensing process and undergo a background check. The crop would be subject to inspection.

The measure now heads to the Senate. A similar bill died in that chamber in the last few days of last year’s session.

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