Texas looks to join national hemp boom

Texas should join the hemp craze, according to the top agriculture official in the largest state not to allow cultivation of the plant.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is calling on the U.S. Congress to lift limitations on hemp farming, The Dallas Morning News reports.

“This is all about taking the shackles off the American farmer,” Miller said in a statement. “It is time to finally end the ban on industrial hemp and free Texas farmers to produce this valuable commodity.”

Miller did not say whether Texas should act to authorize hemp production without a new Farm Bill.

Right now states must decide whether to allow hemp production; 42 other states have already done so.

The Texas Republican Party supported hemp production in this year’s platform, the newspaper reported.

Congress has just two weeks to finish work on a new Farm Bill that could take hemp out of the Controlled Substances Act. A compromise draft is expected next week.