As Missouri applicants wait for licenses to be awarded for medical marijuana facilities, the cannabis industry in Missouri continues to move forward. Three weeks in advance of the comment period, the Missouri Department of Agriculture released its proposed regulations on the new Missouri Industrial Hemp Program, which was signed into law by Governor Parson on June 24, 2019. The new law replaces the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program and transitions the legal growth of industrial hemp in Missouri from a pilot research program to a commercially regulated program.
The Department of Agriculture will be accepting public comments on the proposed rules from Nov. 1 – Dec. 1, 2019. The final rules will incorporate public feedback from the comment period, as well as federal regulatory guidance from the United States Department of Agriculture. The Department will operate under emergency regulations that will allow applications to be submitted and permits to be granted in time for the 2020 growing season.
The Missouri Industrial Hemp Program was signed into law as a result of the passage of the historic 2018 Farm Bill. The 2018 Farm Bill removed industrial hemp from the list of substances under Schedule 1 of the Federal Controlled Substances Act and authorized state departments of agriculture to create commercial industrial hemp programs.