Missouri’s Senate has approved a bill to legalize industrial hemp, less than a month after the House passed a similar measure.
Senate Bill 547 was passed yesterday by the Senate in a 29 to 3 vote. A similar measure, House Bill 2034, was passed last month by the House of Representatives in an almost, but not quite unanimous 141 to 4 vote. The two chambers must now reconcile the two bills (or simply pass the measure the other chamber passed) before it can be sent to Governor Eric Greitens for consideration.
According to the official summary of House Bill 2034; “This bill exempts industrial hemp, which is defined as Cannabis sativa L. containing no greater than 0.3% THC, from the definition of marijuana and the list of controlled substances. In addition, it is legal for any person who has received an industrial hemp license to grow, harvest, cultivate, and process industrial hemp.”
The bill “creates an industrial hemp agricultural pilot program to be implemented by the Department of Agriculture and specifies the requirements for an applicant of an industrial hemp registration and agricultural hemp seed production permit”,and states that “The department must issue a license or permit to an applicant who meets the statutory requirements and upon satisfactory completion of a fingerprint criminal history background check. Upon issuance of a license or permit, information regarding all license and permit holders must be forwarded to the State Highway Patrol.”
An industrial hemp license or agricultural hemp seed production permit would be “nontransferable except to a spouse or child who otherwise meets the requirements for a license or permit; is valid for a three-year term unless revoked by the department; and may be renewed as determined by the department.”