Georgia Senate votes to allow hemp farming

An attendee browses hemp oil skin care products at the Montreal Cannabis Expo in Montreal on Oct. 26, 2018. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Christinne Muschi.
Photo by: Christinne Muschi — Bloomberg

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An attendee browses hemp oil skin care products at the Montreal Cannabis Expo in Montreal on Oct. 26, 2018. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Christinne Muschi. Photo by: Christinne Muschi — Bloomberg

Georgia farmers could begin growing hemp for CBD oil, rope and other products, according to a bill that passed the state Senate on Tuesday.

The Senate voted 45-6 to approve House Bill 213, which would allow the crop as long as it only contains trace amounts of THC, the main psychoactive component of the cannabis plant.

The amended bill now returns to the state House for a final vote. The House overwhelming voted for hemp farming last month.

"We've put some pretty stringent language on this to make sure this is a controlled process in our state, but at the same time create a new industry we can grow in Georgia," said state Sen. Tyler Harper, a Republican from Ocilla.

Georgia would join 41 other states that already have a hemp program, Harper said.

Hemp could be processed into CBD droplets, capsules and creams that are already widely available in nutrition stores but imported to Georgia from other states.

Cannabidiol — also called CBD — is legal in the United States if it contains less than 0.3 percent THC.

separate bill would allow cultivation and sales of medical marijuana oil, which contains up to 5 percent THC and can be used by registered patients.