The useful crop has seen renewed interest alongside legalized weed – and there are signs that US officials are warming to it.

Long associated with the hoariest hippie stereotypes, hemp is now chic.

The crop – which is a cannabis plant very similar to marijuana, but lacking its best-known property: getting you high – is a versatile raw material, and like its more notorious relative, it could once again become very lucrative.

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Alex Halperin ~ TheGuardian.com