hemp leaves on wooden background, seeds, cannabis oil extracts in jars

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Law change recognizes differences between growing hemp, marijuana

April 23, 2019 - 4:00 am

By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) --Industrial hemp and marijuana are different varieties of the cannabis plant.

Marijuana is cultivated because of its production of the psychoactive plant chemical THC.

Industrial hemp is cultivated for fiber, seed and other purposes, and federal and state law requires that the concentration of THC must be less than 0.3% in industrial hemp.

In other words, you can’t get high from it.

Until 2018, the law didn’t differentiate between growing different varieties of the cannabis plant—it was all illegal.

However, under the new Farm Bill the federal government will now allow states to regulate hemp, which can now be farmed legally provided you get a permit from the state’s department of agriculture.

While marijuana is still illegal under federal law, the federal government’s acknowledgement that all cannabis plants are not created equal and should not be treated the same seems to many to be a signal that it’s marijuana policy may also evolve.