New chance for Oregon hemp production

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PORTLAND — People who would like to grow hemp in Oregon for fiber and textile production say the federal decision not to challenge marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado gives them the green light.

U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall in Portland told The Oregonian her office would not interfere with hemp production as long as the state creates robust controls and enforcement.

Sen. Floyd Prozanksi of Eugene co-sponsored a 2009 law legalizing hemp production that has been on hold. He says the new federal stance should allow the state to start crafting rules on hemp.

Hemp and marijuana are similar plants, but hemp strains have been bred for fiber with low amounts of the drug.