Missouri House of Representatives Passes Hemp Legalization Bill
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.
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.
House Bill 830 requires final approval from the House before moving to the Senate. If approved into law, it would take effect on August 28th.