The Latest: GOP lawmakers make case for industrial hemp

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Latest on a bill that would legalize industrial hemp in Wisconsin (all times local):

10:35 a.m.

Two Republican lawmakers are making the case for their bill legalizing industrial hemp in Wisconsin.

Rep. Jesse Kremer and Sen. Patrick Testin held a news conference Tuesday ahead of a public hearing on the bill before the Senate agriculture committee. They said legalizing hemp would give farmers another option for raising a profitable crop.

They also noted that Wisconsin led the nation in hemp production during World War II and hemp shouldn't be confused with marijuana.

Jim Holte, president of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, also appeared at the news conference, saying the bill would create an opportunity for Wisconsin farmers.

Testin aide Jeff Schultz handed out edible hemp bars to agriculture committee members before the hearing. The panel wasn't expected to vote on the bill Tuesday.

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6:25 a.m.

A legislative committee is set to consider a bill that would allow farmers to grow industrial hemp in Wisconsin.

The Senate agriculture committee was scheduled to hold a public hearing on the Republican measure Tuesday morning.

The bill would require anyone who wants to grow hemp to get a state license. People with drug convictions wouldn't be eligible for licenses. Plants couldn't contain more than 1 percent THC, marijuana's active ingredient.

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and the Wisconsin Farmers Union have both registered in favor of the bill. No groups have registered against it.

Wisconsin produced three quarters of domestic hemp during World War II before demand plummeted and China took over the market.

At least 30 states have passed legislation allowing hemp cultivation.

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