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NH Senate hearing on industrial hemp bill

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- For the second time in two years, New Hampshire's Senate is considering a House-passed bill that would protect industrial hemp from being tagged as an illicit drug.

The House tried last year to get the Senate to agree to a similar bill, but the Senate instead voted to study the measure.

The Senate hearing on the latest bill is Thursday.

The bill would forbid industrial hemp, a botanical cousin to marijuana, from being listed as a controlled substance.

Supporters say hemp was once an important crop in the United States, but has not been grown in New Hampshire for decades. They say the plant has lower levels of THC, a principal chemical in cannabis, than marijuana and can be used for a variety of non-illicit products.