Activist Post - A Missouri House committee passed a bill that would remove industrial hemp from the state’s list of controlled substances and create a program for the licensing and regulation of hemp growers and handlers. Passage into law would set the foundation to nullify the unconstitutional federal prohibition on the same, in practice. The House Agricultural Policy Committee passed HB170 by a 10-3 vote.
Under the proposed law, hemp production would be limited to fields greater then 2.5 acres, and does authorize small-scale or home-grown hemp for commercial purposes. While these limitations are not ideal, a similar restriction was originally in place in Oregon. Over time as the public’s fear of hemp subsided, an effort began to get the regulations relaxed.
According to a 2005 Congressional Research Service report, the U.S. is the only developed nation that hasn’t developed an industrial hemp crop for economic purposes. Experts suggest that the U.S. market for hemp is around $600 million per year. They count as many as 25,000 uses for industrial hemp, including food, cosmetics, plastics and bio-fuel. The U.S. is currently the world’s #1 importer of hemp fiber for various products, with China and Canada acting as the top two exporters in the world.