After months of paperwork and navigating bureaucratic red tape, University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers have planted their first crop of legal hemp.

About 150 plants with the distinctive frond leaf, previously relegated to roadside ditches, are nestled in warm and slightly humid greenhouses on UNL's East Campus.

Industrial hemp has almost none of the psychoactive component, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), found in its cousin marijuana, but the family relationship has gotten both plants lumped together as Schedule I drugs along with heroin, LSD and ecstasy.

“You can get higher smoking a corn plant than you can on this stuff,” said Tom Clemente, a professor of biotechnology and one of two UNL researchers growing the plants.

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Nicholas Bergin ~ Lincoln Journal Star ~

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