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Could industrial hemp production...

Could industrial hemp production improve Mississippi’s economy? #msleg

By: Sarah Ulmer - January 19, 2018

Rep. Joel Bomgar

In an attempt to aid in economic growth across the state of Mississippi, Rep. Joel Bomgar has authored House Bill 390 that would allow for the production and sale of Hemp.

When people hear hemp, they often hear “marijuana,” but those are two very different things explains Bomgar.

“Hemp has zero psychoactive properties. It is not marijuana, it is used for industrial and environmental purposes,” said Bomgar.

Hemp and Marijuan do come from the same plant, Canabis Sativa L., and can often look very similar. However, hemp has little to no  psychoactive properties. It is used for industrial purposes, and has been in the U.S. for years. According to the Industrial Hemp in the United States: Status and Market Potential research, hemps closest competing textile fiber is linen, Bomgar said in Mississippi cotton would be the primary competitor for the product.

“There are many economic benefits for hemp production in Mississippi including job creation and revenue for the state,” said Bomgar. “There are still unknowns about the benefits of hemp production, but we won’t find out until we try.”

The production of hemp would be for industrial use only, and subject to regulations. Any growers or handlers would be required to own a hemp seed production permit. These permits would authorize the holder to produce and handle agricultural hemp seed for sale to licensed industrial hemp growers and handlers. The growers are also responsible to ensure that the seed meets any agricultural standards set by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce.

If approved the bill would go into effect July 2, 2018.

Read HB390 HERE.

About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state. Email Sarah: