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The Associated Press May 2, 2012, 3:27PM ET

New Hampshire Senate votes to study hemp farming

New Hampshire's Senate has voted to study whether the state should protect industrial hemp from being tagged as an illicit drug.

The Senate voted Wednesday to study a House-passed bill that would forbid industrial hemp, a botanical cousin to marijuana, from being listed as a controlled substance. The bill would only have gone into effect after the Drug Enforcement Agency certified that at least two other New England states adopted such legislation.

Supporters say hemp was once an important crop in the United States, but has not been grown in New Hampshire for decades. They say the plant has lower levels of THC, a principal chemical in cannabis, than marijuana and can be used for a variety of non-illicit products.

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