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The Alaska state capitol building in Juneau, Alaska.

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Alaska’s House of Representatives has passed legislation to allow industrial hemp production and to establish a pilot program for its cultivation and production, according to a KTUU report. The measure, introduced by Sen. Shelley Hughes, defines industrial hemp as containing less than 0.3 percent THC.

Alaska is one of eight states that permits recreational cannabis sales.  

“… It does not have the psychoactive response and a person could smoke acres and acres and all they would get is a cough and a sore throat. So there are no psychoactive impacts from hemp so it is now an agriculture crop product and it is not under the marijuana statutes.” – Hughes to KTUU

Hughes indicated that farmers she represents want to use hemp as an inexpensive livestock feed. The bill received more than 20 letters of support from Alaskan farmers, including Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre. The measure next moves to the Senate.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 34 states allow some form of hemp production, usually a pilot program requiring licensing from a state agency to grow the crop. The only state that does not use the 0.3 percent THC threshold for hemp is West Virginia, which defines hemp as containing less than 1 percent THC.

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