The Missouri House Agriculture Policy Committee voted Tuesday in Jefferson City to approve legislation that would create an industrial hemp pilot program in Missouri.
The bipartisan vote was 11-2.
Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee Chairman Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown, the bill sponsor, tells Missourinet he’s optimistic it will pass.
“I think it would be a new agricultural product that Missouri can raise and one that they used to raise here in Missouri, you know, to help the war effort,” Munzlinger says.
He’s referring to World War II.
Both chambers have already approved industrial hemp bills, but only the House version contained language that the Missouri Highway Patrol “may perform aerial surveillance” to ensure that marijuana plants are not being cultivated near industrial hemp.
The House Ag Policy Committee, chaired by State Rep. Jay Houghton, R-Martinsburg, approved an amendment adding that provision on Tuesday, a provision that Munzlinger supports.
Munzlinger’s bill now heads to the House Rules Committee, before heading to the House floor.
Munzlinger says State Rep. Paul Curtman’s industrial hemp bill should be ready to go to the Missouri Senate floor soon.
Proponents and opponents of the legislation testified on Tuesday.
A southern Missouri food/health company called “Beyond Organics” supports the bill.
Lobbyist Brian Grace tells lawmakers that Chairman Munzlinger’s