October 27, 2009 – Montana has issued its first license for an industrial hemp-growing operation, setting up a possible test case of whether the Drug Enforcement Administration is willing to override a hemp-educate-yourselfstate law allowing propagation of the plant.

Hemp is similar to illegal marijuana but without the mind-altering ingredient of the drug. Montana’s Legislature in 2001 approved the commercial cultivation of hemp, although federal law still prohibits such activity.

Montana Department of Agriculture attorney Cort Jensen said the first license issued under the state law, on Oct. 14, went to a woman who wants to grow hemp on 160 acres in Madison County.

Hemp is grown in parts of Canada and Europe and has a range of uses, from fibers for clothing to a source of biofuels. Source.

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