Legal or not, industrial hemp harvested in Colorado

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
The nation

In this photo taken Oct. 31, 2011, central Illinois farmer Dale Hadden climbs onto a combine on the family farm near Jacksonville, Ill. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

SPRINGFIELD, Colo. (AP) -- The nation's first industrial hemp harvest in 55 years is underway in Colorado.

About two dozen Colorado farmers this summer grew marijuana's non-intoxicating cousin.

Hemp can't be grown under federal drug law. The last crop reported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture was in 1958.

But finished hemp products are legal. And the U.S. is one of hemp's fastest-growing markets.

Hemp finds its way into granola bars, soaps, lotions and even cooking oil. The stalks and fibers are used in fabrics and building materials.

Ten states now allow industrial hemp production. Farmers experimenting with the crop say they're confident federal drug authorities won't enforce hemp restrictions.


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