Lawmaker worries that hemp would lead to legal marijuana in Minnesota

If Minnesota approves limited industrial hemp growth, a state senator with a long-time law enforcement background fears recreational marijuana use will be close behind.

"To me, it is baby steps toward recreational marijuana and I think we will find that out by the end of the session," Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, said Wednesday after a committee approved a bill to allow hemp to be grown by researchers.

Ingebrigtsen predicted attempts will be made to amend the hemp bill to include recreational marijuana use. Minnesota law allows a limited use of medical marijuana, but recreational use remains illegal.

Sen. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley, brought the hemp bill to the Senate Environment, Economic Development and Agriculture Finance Division.

Minnesota state Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria. (Minnesota Senate photo)

It would allow limited growth of hemp as part of a study, with the intention of eventually launching an industry with widespread hemp production.


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