Hemp advocates rejoiced at President Barack Obama’s signature on the new farm bill Friday, which includes an amendment allowing states that have legalized hemp farming to begin growing this useful crop for research purposes.

“This is the first time in American history that industrial hemp has been legally defined by our federal government as distinct from drug varieties of Cannabis,” said Eric Steenstra, the president of advocacy group Vote Hemp, in a press release.

“The market opportunities for hemp are incredibly promising — ranging from textiles and health foods to home construction and even automobile manufacturing,” he said. “This is not just a boon to U.S. farmers, this is a boon to U.S. manufacturing industries as well.”

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