Industrial Hemp Bill Goes Before Missouri Senate Agriculture Committee On Monday

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A Missouri Senate committee will meet Monday afternoon in Jefferson City about industrial hemp legislation.

The Missouri Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee will hold a hearing Monday at 2 p.m. about legislation from State Sen. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown, which would create a pilot program to allow those licensed by the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) to grow, cultivate and market industrial hemp.

Munzlinger, who represents 14 counties in northeast and north central Missouri, chairs the committee.

Under his legislation, applicants would undergo a fingerprint criminal history background check. Permits could not be issued to anyone found guilty of any state or federal felony offense involving a controlled substance in the past five years.

State Rep. Paul Curtman, R-Pacific, filed a similar bill in 2017, which the Missouri House approved by a 126-26 vote. Munzlinger’s bill was approved in committee last year 5-1, but died in the full Senate in May.

Curtman has filed his House bill again, and it will be heard Tuesday by the House Agriculture Policy Committee.

During an August interview at the State Fair in Sedalia, Munzlinger told Missourinet that the Show-Me State is “missing the boat.”

During that interview, Munzlinger said that Kentucky and South Carolina are “going great guns” on industrial hemp.

Supporters have predicted that multiple processing plants would be built in Missouri, if the bill passes. They say Kentucky is a leader in industrial hemp legislation.