Hemp is a very versatile plant. Some estimates say that hemp can be used to make over 25,000 products. Importing hemp and hemp products is legal in the United States, but hemp cultivation is not allowed at the federal level. Even in states that have legalized hemp cultivation, farmers are having a hard time getting an actual crop started due to federal prohibition (such as in Oregon). Missouri used to be one of the top hemp producing states in America. Missouri's House of Representatives passed a hemp cultivation bill this week. Per The Joint Blog:
Missouri's House of Representatives has given initial approval to House Bill 830, a proposal to legalize the production and cultivation of industrial hemp. A companion bill, Senate Bill 255, has already been approved unanimously by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources.
If passed into law, House Bill 830 would remove hemp from the state's list of controlled substance, reclassifying it as a legal agricultural product in the state. The bill would establish a system of licensing and regulations for those wanting to grow the crop, which would be defined as having no more than 0.3% THC. The proposal explicitly states that a change in federal law - or approval from the federal government - will not be required for the state to begin implementation of the law.
Missouri's farmers deserve to grow a crop that is completely harmless. Virtually all of the arguments against hemp cultivation are not based upon science, but instead are based upon politics and fear mongering. The focus now moves to the Missouri Senate, where I'm hopeful it will pass considering SB 255 already received a unanimous approval from a key Senate Committee. A thriving hemp industry would help out Missouri quite a bit.