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After a decades-long ban on marijuana's non-psychoactive cousin, the U.S. Senate made the unprecedented decision Thursday to legalize hemp.
MEAUX, FRANCE - AUGUST 25: A field of legal cannabis plants selected for their low content of THC grows on August 25, 2014 near Meaux, France. Cannabis is the source of hemp, which is used in a variety of applications including insulation, textiles, rope and paper. France is the second largest producer of industrial hemp in the world after China. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
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Hemp farmers and experts in Colorado praise Farm Bill that legalizes crop for first time in decades

U.S. Senate votes to lift ban on pot's cousin

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- After a decades-long ban on marijuana's non-psychoactive cousin, the U.S. Senate made the unprecedented decision Thursday to legalize hemp.

The reclassification of hemp is part of the 2018 Farm Bill.

"This angel on this shirt is saying, 'Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Amen,’" said Morris Beegle, president of the Colorado Hemp Company.

The full Senate voted overwhelmingly to pass its latest version of the Farm Bill, which would remove hemp from the list of controlled substances for the first time in decades.

“It's like 80 years overdue,” Morris said. “It never should have been illegal in the first place.”

“This is the greatest thing that could happen to us," said hemp farmer Dani Billings on her farm outside Longmont.

Billings points out hemp's many benefits - ranging from clothing to wellness products.

“It's the perfect protein for the human body," Billings said. “And it revitalizes the soil, cleans the air, takes out radiation.”

"It's a super plant,” Morris said. “It always has been. It’s a super fiber. It's a super food. It's a super nutrient."

And supporters of industrial hemp say it is not an illicit drug.

“This product doesn't get anybody high in any way, shape or form," Billings said.

The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union is praising the decision saying it could be the proverbial ‘shot in the arm’ that offers renewed stability to the family farm.

"At a time of great financial stress, family farmers and ranchers are in need of some economic certainty. As the bill moves forward to conference, we look forward to working with Congressional leadership to make additional improvements and investments,” said Dale McCall, president of the RMFU.

"The amount of revenue being produced, it's going to blow up,” Morris said. “This is just the tip of the iceberg."

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