ST. PAUL – A bill that would authorize industrial hemp to be produced as an agricultural crop and create a state regulatory structure for its production passed its first committee today. House File 683, authored by Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria) was heard during Wednesday’s meeting of the Agriculture Policy Committee and passed with bipartisan support.
“I am excited to see this pro-jobs bill pass with broad support,” said Franson. “Minnesota has an opportunity to be on the cutting edge of an emerging industry that will have exceptional benefits for Greater Minnesota and our state as a whole. Not only would it open new opportunities for farmers and those in the agriculture industry, it would move our state toward allowing for local sourcing of many products made from hemp fibers. These fibers can be used in textiles, rope, food, clothing, paper, insulation, and building materials.”
The bill has been sent to the Government Operations and Elections Committee where it awaits its next hearing.