JEFFERSON CITY - A House committee received testimony Tuesday, April 8, for a bill that would allow hemp to be grown in Missouri for medical use.
The testimony before the House General Laws Committee mostly was in favor of the bill allowing the Missouri Department of Agriculture to grow industrial hemp for medical use. Under the bill, a person suffering from epilepsy would be able to have 20 ounces with a hemp extract registration card issued and put into a database by the department.
According to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture industrialized hemp is fiber and oil-seed creed with a varity of uses such as the hemp oil mentioned at the hearing.
Bill Sponsor Rep. Caleb Jones R-Columbia, talked about how the Missouri Department of Agriculture would implement harvesting hemp.
"This bill would allow the department of agriculture to grow and produce; and extract the oil." Jones said. "It allows them to license with a non-profit to help produce this."
Rep. Mike Colon D-St. Louis, who has sponsored several bills on marijuana decriminalization said he was concerned that Missouri may not be able to attract a non-profit business to help grow the hemp.
"I can either go to Missouri and help people for free or I could go to Mississippi and maybe make five cents on the dollar." Colona said. "If we follow this model in this bill we are actually incentivising those non-for-profits to go to a different state. "
Rep. Galen Higdon R-St. Joseph, explained in an interview later that day that some Missouri farms have hemp quality agriculture growing on their farm that they could profit from.
"Theres farms throughout the state of Missouri that have that hemp quality right now growing on their farm and they mow it down cause it a nuisance to them" Higdon said. "When they could mow it, bail it, and sale it."