A bill introduced in the Mississippi State House of Representatives would legalize hemp farming and production, effectively nullifying a federal prohibition on the same.
HB1201 was introduced by Rep. David Baria (D-122) on Jan. 20. The bill allows for farmers to apply for state permits that would allow them to subvert the decades-long federal ban and start development of industrial hemp.
The bill states that “industrial hemp production and possession, and commerce in industrial hemp commodities and products, are authorized in this state. Industrial hemp is an agricultural product that is subject to regulation by the Department of Agriculture and Commerce.”
Industrial hemp falls under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. It technically remains “legal” to grow in the U.S., but farmers must first obtain a permit from the DEA, a nearly impossible feat. Doing so without a permit is considered illegal.
The proposed Mississippi law ignores the federal prohibition and opens the door to hemp cultivation in the state. It would allow the state to develop an intrastate market and poise it to lead the way if Washington DC ever opens up the interstate market.
Experts count as many as 25,000 uses for industrial hemp, including food, cosmetics, plastics and bio-fuel. The U.S. currently imports hemp products, primarily from China and Canada.
Three states – Colorado, Oregon and Vermont – have already passed similar measures. Farmers in SE Colorado started harvesting the plant in 2013.
For Mississippi: Take action today to help pass HB1201 by clicking HERE.
For Other States: Take action in your state to push legislators to introduce and support bills to legalize hemp farming by clicking HERE