Missouri’s Senate Committee on Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources has given unanimous approval to Senate Bill 255, a proposal to legalize industrial hemp. A similiar bill, House Bill 830, has already been approved by two House committee, one unanimously.
Senate Bill 255 would legalize hemp by removing it as a controlled substance and declaring it as a legal agricultural crop. It would establish a system of licensing and regulations for those wanting to cultivate the plant, which would be defined as having no more than 0.3% THC.
According to congressional research released last year, the United States imports roughly half a billion dollars in hemp from other countries (primarily Canada and China) while retaining the illegality of its cultivation amongst its own farmers. The same research estimates the hemp market to consist of over 25,000 various products.
Yesterday, a Missouri House committee voted unanimously to legalize medical cannabis.