Hemp is Coming to Missouri
The measure will create an industrial hemp pilot program to study the cultivation and marketing of hemp. It will also remove hemp from the DEA’s list as a Schedule I drug.
The Department of Agriculture intends to oversee all growing and cultivating activity of the industrial hemp and will inspect crops to make sure their THC levels do not exceed 0.3%, in which case they will be destroyed.
The senate bill passed 29-3 and is now up for consideration in the House, which passed a similar measure by a vote of 141-4 last month.
Hemp and Missouri already have a history. Along with Illinois and Kentucky, Missouri produced most American hemp until the late 1800s.
Indeed, long before it was criminalized in the United States, hemp played a major role in our agricultural history.
It began to make a comeback after President Obama signed the 2014 Farm Bill that removed hemp grown for research purposes from the Controlled Substances Act.
But we have still have a way to go.
Today, barely one percent of Americans are farming hemp. Before it was prohibited in 1937, that number was 30 percent, and our hemp was considered among the best in the world.
Now, we are trying to make up for lost time, and with good reason.
Hemp is one of the fastest growing and most versatile plants on earth and has traditionally been used for making all kinds of essential objects such as paper, textiles, cloth, biodegradable plastics, paint and biofuel… to name a few.
Growers are keen to get started. One farmer told the LA Times that hemp is going to revive farmers.
“It takes half the water that wheat does and provides four times the income. Hemp is going to revive farming families in the climate-change era.”