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Politics & Government

Industrial Hemp Supporters Encouraged By Lobby Day Response

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A leader of the state movement to return industrial hemp to farms in Wisconsin is optimistic after meeting with legislators this week.

Phillip Scott is the founder and CEO of Wisconsin Hemp Farmers & Manufacturers Association Inc.

The group held Hemp Lobby Day Tuesday at the state capitol in Madison. The state has allowed limited production of hemp growing.

Scott says Wisconsin at one time led the way for this cash crop...

"...We were #1 or #2 in the mid-(1920's) and we lost that heritage here and those growing opportunities that are available. Most guys could keep doing what they're doing today and plant an acre or two for a little extra income and everybody benefits...."

Scott says they met with several legislators, including Rep. Melissa Sargent who has authored a bill to legalize marijuana in Wisconsin. Hemp doesn't have the intoxicating effects of marijuana and was used in a wide variety of products until after World War II. Industrial hemp is being used today to produce CBD oil.

Scott says the industry is in it's baby steps as it has to retrain a new generation but legislators were interested in the message... 

"Obviously there's a difference between excitement and getting them the facts. Right now our education and processing is behind the industry. We don't have enough engineers trained to move this industry forward and their taking that value and saying how do we do this?..." 

In 1970, under the federal Controlled Substances Act, the measure banned cannabis of any kind. Restrictions have slowly been loosened by states.

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