HELENA — The Montana Department of Agriculture on Monday refuted a federal decision to deny irrigation water to a Helena Valley hemp farmer, department officials said.

Kim Phillips, the hemp farmer, is in full compliance with state and federal regulations on industrial hemp, and is not in violation of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, according to Cort Jensen, attorney for the state agriculture department.

Phillips was denied access to water by the Helena Valley Irrigation District and Bureau of Reclamation on Thursday because her hemp seedlings are allegedly ineligible for federally controlled water.

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Matt Neuman ~ Missoulian.com