JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri House has given initial approval to a bill legalizing industrial hemp.

Proponents said Tuesday that the bill was a development opportunity that could be a boon for farmers and businesses.

Hemp, which can be used as raw material for manufacturing, comes from the same plant as marijuana but contains very low levels of the psychoactive chemical known as THC.

The bill would require people to get a permit from the Department of Agriculture to grow hemp.

During the debate, a Democrat also proposed legalizing marijuana, but the amendment was ruled out of order.

Another vote is needed to send the bill to the Senate. A similar bill was approved last year by the House but was never voted on by the Senate.

Hemp bill is HB 2034