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A top-down view of a young cannabis or industrial hemp plant.

steve p2008

The Missouri Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee is set to consider an industrial hemp pilot program bill today, which would allow the state to issue licenses for industrial hemp cultivation and allow the cultivators to market their products, according to a report from Missourinet. A similar measure was approved by the House last year but died in the Senate.

The measure, introduced by state Sen Brian Munzlinger, would require applicants to undergo a fingerprint criminal background check and bar anyone with a federal or state controlled substance charge within the last five years from participating in the program.

State Rep. Paul Curtman, the author of the failed 2017 legislation, has also reintroduced that bill in the House. It has been sent to the chamber’s Agriculture Policy Committee – which last year passed it 5-1. The House approved the 2017 version 126-26. The Agriculture Policy Committee is expected to take up the measure tomorrow.

In August, Muzlinger told Missourinet that the state was “missing the boat by not being engaged” in hemp production.

Currently, 34 states allow some form of industrial hemp production, including five of Missouri’s border states; Nebraska, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

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