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US (MT): Hemp, cannabis growers speak on indoor grow bill

ASenate committee Thursday tried to hash out whether to approve a bill that would require cannabis growers to keep their grow operations indoors and reserve the outdoors for hemp farmers.

Sen. Tom Jacobson, a Great Falls Democrat, told the Senate Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Committee his Senate Bill 209 would prevent cross-pollination from happening between hemp, which has nearly no THC, and cannabis. The majority of marijuana producers already grow indoors because it allows them to grow year-round, Jacobson said, while farmers can use hemp to diversify their crops.

Opponents to the bill came primarily from the medical marijuana industry — who will have a one-year head start on the upcoming recreational market — who said the bill would uproot their investment into outdoor facilities. Another opponent said cross-pollination only puts the marijuana producers at risk, as they only use female plants, therefore hemp crops can't be cross-pollinated. 


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