WAITSFIELD, Vt. — Some Vermont farmers want to plant hemp now that the state has set up rules to grow it.
But some advocates for a free market of industrial hemp say they'd be risking their farms because federal law doesn't allow them to cultivate the crop that's a cousin of marijuana.
Hemp and marijuana share the same species – cannabis sativa. But hemp contains a negligible amount of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana.
The plant once was legally grown in the U.S. and used to make rope, fabric and other products.
But now under federal law, all cannabis plants – including hemp – fall under the marijuana label so farmers could get into trouble for growing it.
So far, 19 states have passed hemp legislation, including nine that allow its production.