The prospects for industrial hemp in Missouri are looking up this year.
Missouri Senators advanced a bill Tuesday that would create a pilot program in the state to study the growth, cultivation, processing and marketing of industrial hemp in cooperation with Missouri’s Department of Agriculture.
Members of the General Assembly has been working on pilot programs for the growth and research of industrial hemp for three years. Lawmakers in the Missouri House introduced such pilot programs in 2016 and 2017, but they have never made it through the Senate.
Hemp is used in a variety of everyday products such as lotions, oils, clothes and other materials. Sen. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown, the bill’s sponsor, said Missouri used to be one of the world’s largest providers of hemp.
Multiple senators expressed support for the bill, believing it could lead to economic growth.
“I hope it gets across the finish line because, again, I don’t think individuals are paying attention to the economic impact and the positives that this bill will have on the state of Missouri,” Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, said.
Any prospective hemp grower would need to apply for a permit and pay an application fee to farm hemp. Anyone convicted of a drug-related felony in the past five years would not qualify for this permit.
Prospective hemp growers