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Missouri Legislature Passes Bill to Legalize Industrial Hemp

 The Missouri Legislature has passed a bill to legalize industrial hemp.

The measure to create a hemp-growing pilot program passed the House 133-6 Thursday. The Senate passed the bill 29-3 Wednesday.

Hemp, which can be used as raw material for manufacturing, comes from the same plant as marijuana. But it contains very low levels of the psychoactive chemical known as THC.

The bill would require people to get a permit from the Department of Agriculture to grow hemp.

Backers argue that growing industrial hemp could help farmers and businesses in the state. But it's been met with skepticism for years by some lawmakers.