Hemp plants grow under clear skies on on September 5, 2017 in Eaton, Colorado. Colorado Cultivars hemp farm is one of the largest hemp farms in the U.S. (RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post)

Welcome, Wisconsin: State joins hemp farming ranks

MADISON, Wis. — Republican Gov. Scott Walker has quietly signed a bill that allows Wisconsin farmers to grow industrial hemp.

Walker signed the bill Thursday.

The bill passed the Legislature unanimously. The measure’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Jesse Kremer, tweeted Thursday that the bill will make Wisconsin a leader in hemp production. His tweet included the hashtag “AmericasHempland.”

At least 30 other states have legalized hemp farming. Supporters say hemp has a wide range of uses and legalizing it gives farmers another profitable crop.

Under the new law, hemp plants couldn’t contain more than 0.3 percent THC. Prospective farmers with drug convictions would not be eligible for state-issued licenses to grow the crop.