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US (CT): Bill allowing hemp growers into cannabis industry approved by key panel

Connecticut's hemp farmers would be allowed a path into the cannabis industry under legislation that passed overwhelmingly in a key legislative committee.

The amended bill, which next moves to the state House of Representatives, would let dozens of small hemp growers apply for state cultivator or micro-cultivator licenses under the Department of Consumer Protection's cannabis program. The legislative General Law Committee approved the bill after a brief debate.

The action occurred following a recent public hearing in which farmers said that during the few years, they have been allowed to grow hemp - without the levels of THC that have made marijuana a federally controlled substance - they have shown skills that would make small batches of cannabis a niche product, which in the long term would not threaten the Connecticut market with a glut of product.

If approved in the House and state Senate and signed into law by the governor, hemp producers could apply for licenses between October 1 and December 31, allowing the Department of Consumer Protection time to prepare for their entry into the market. Farmers during the public hearing had also complained of the high price of entering the market.


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