Legislation is advancing in the Arkansas House of Representatives that would legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp in the state.

A bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. David Hillman of Almyra, allows for the production of and research on the hemp plant.

On a voice vote, HB1778 passed out of the Arkansas House Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development on Friday.

Hemp is a subset of the cannabis sativa plant and a close cousin of marijuana, although it doesn’t contain the same concentrations of the compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that makes a person high.

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Chris Hickey ~ ualrpublicradio.org ~