DENVER — Colorado livestock could be eating hemp under a bill that awaits the governor’s signature.

The state House voted 63-0 Friday to direct the Colorado Department of Agriculture to study the feasibility of allowing farmers to use hemp in animal feed. Currently the practice is forbidden.

Hemp is a non-intoxicating cousin of marijuana. The federal government started allowing farmers to grow hemp under limited circumstances in 2014.

The Washington state Legislature passed a similar bill in 2015.

However, agriculture authorities in that state concluded that hemp is not yet safe to use in poultry feed, saying there isn’t sufficient research on whether marijuana’s intoxicant, THC, could pass to the birds.

Colorado has about 300 hemp growers.

The hemp measure has already passed the Senate.

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