Jefferson City, MO (05/17/2019) – Late Wednesday the Missouri House of Representatives signed off on omnibus agriculture bill Senate Bill 133 which included language removing restrictions from Missouri’s industrial hemp pilot program initially passed in 2018 by former Missouri State Representative Paul Curtman (R-Pacific) and Senator Brian Munzlinger (R-Williamstown).
“During the winter of 2018, President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill, fully legalizing industrial hemp production in the United States. We applaud Missouri State Representative Rick Francis (R-Perryville) and Senator Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg) for their hard work this year to advance this legislation to update Missouri law and allow Missouri farmers to participate in this emerging global commodity market,” said Bill Cook, Board Chairman of the Missouri Hemp Association.
The hemp provisions in SB 133 include an emergency clause allowing for research production in 2019 directed by Missouri universities. “This emergency action endorsed by the Missouri General Assembly is a lifeline for Missouri agriculture. The ability to do variety trials in 2019 sets our farmers up for success in bringing hemp products to market in 2020 and signals to entrepreneurs and investors that Missouri is open for business,” said Ceally Smith, Chief Marketing Director of the Missouri Hemp Association.
“After decades of seeing Missouri agriculture devastated by falling commodity prices, unfair international competition, and regulatory overreach, Missourians finally have a reason to not give up and sell the family farm,” said Jeric George, Vice President of Mizzou Students for Cannabis Agriculture. “Bringing this natural agriculture back gives my generation a chance to bring prosperity back to rural Missouri.”
“Hemp is an irreplaceable part of Missouri’s heritage,” said Lexington, Missouri Mayor Fred Wiedner. “We are grateful to Missouri’s leaders in the General Assembly and the support from Governor Mike Parson to make sure it is part of our future.”
“We believe hemp fiber and seed industries will create long term value opportunities for Missouri,” said Missouri Hemp Association Executive Director Dale Ludwig. “Currently there is tremendous opportunity for hemp to bring a variety of manufacturing and processing plants to Missouri, supplying industries as diverse as textiles, plastics, building materials, and nutritional food products for both animal and human consumption.”