ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – A measure legalizing the production of industrial hemp in Alaska awaits Gov. Bill Walker’s signature.

Alaska Public Media reported Wednesday that the bill has passed through the state House and Senate.

The legislation would allow registered participants into a pilot project to grow hemp, which is a variety of the cannabis plant that produces useful fiber but almost none of the psychoactive compound, THC, that alters people’s mental state.

Republican state Sen. Shelley Hughes of Palmer introduced the bill. Hughes said she was approached by local farmers in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough looking to grow hemp, which can be used as feed and bedding for livestock, as well as material to clean up oil spills.

Hughes said if signed, it’s likely that farmers could be growing hemp in Alaska by 2019.

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