Who could be the next state with a legal hemp industry? Perhaps Missouri.
The state House of Representatives recently cleared a bill by a vast majority vote; a vote of 123-29. House Bill 2038 is now up for a vote in the Senate after passing through the Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources.
The bill aims to legalize the commercial production of hemp. This bill would go beyond the federally legal hemp farming that is outlined by the 2014 Farm Bill. Currently, federal laws limit hemp production to test crops grown by state agricultural departments and universities. However, as legalization continues to spread across the US, several states have now passed legalization to allow for commercial production.
The bill would require that all hemp growers take part in a seed-to-sale tracking system; an effort to appeal to law enforcement entities that have claimed hemp is indistinguishable from marijuana.
You can learn more about the differences between hemp and cannabis, and their history in the United States here.