Skip to content
Hemp legislation would kill businesses,...

Hemp legislation would kill businesses, limit consumer choices in Mississippi

By: Mississippi Hemp Coalition - April 28, 2024

  • Hemp retailers call for less heavy-handed approach than what’s proposed in HB 1676.

The Mississippi legislature has recently proposed a law (HB 1676) that will ban the sale of hemp (a federally legal industry) derived products in hemp stores and move it to state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. This attempt to shut down legal hemp stores is concerning and warrants a thoughtful and careful examination of the potential repercussions.  This issue must be addressed with a reasonable and balanced approach that considers the interests of both consumers and existing businesses.

Hemp is a $28 billion a year industry.  Legal hemp shops play a vital role in providing access to hemp-derived products that offer a wide range of benefits to consumers.  From CBD oils and edibles to skincare products and textiles, these shops offer a diverse array of goods that cater to various needs and preferences.  Furthermore, they contribute to our State’s economy by creating jobs, generating tax revenue, and supporting local farmers who grow hemp.

There are thousands of these vendors in our state that sell hemp-derived products. HB 1676, if passed, will remove these products from more than 2,000 locations and funnel them instead into approximately 192 currently existing dispensaries.  Instead of taking this heavy-handed approach that will effectively kill thousands of legitimate existing businesses and drastically limit consumer choices, the Legislature should focus instead on smart, sensible legislation implementing reasonable regulations in the industry that will ensure product safety, quality control, and compliance with federal laws.  Licensing requirements, lab testing standards, labeling guidelines, and age restrictions can be effective measures to address concerns while still allowing legal hemp stores to operate freely, and more importantly responsibly, in our state.

Furthermore, education and outreach efforts are crucial in informing the public about the differences between hemp and marijuana, as well as the potential benefits and risks associated with hemp-derived products.  It is essential to clarify that hemp and marijuana are distinct varieties of the cannabis plant, with hemp containing negligible levels of THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp cultivation and products containing no more than 0.3% delta-9 THC recognizing its agricultural, industrial, and therapeutic potential.

What are the important numbers?

  • 581 retail stores
  • 1000 jobs
  • Potential $35,000,000 payroll loss
  • $12,000,000 sales tax revenue
  • $10,400,000 approximate rental revenue for landlords

These numbers will go to 0 if the legislature passes this harmful bill. 

HB 1676 needs to be retired for this session.  Write or call the representative and senator for your district and let them know that you support them in voting ‘No’ to HB 1676.

Retiring this bill will give our lawmakers the time and opportunity to analyze the full implications and craft meaningful legislation addressing this issue that benefits all Mississippians that helps and not harms both consumers and the business community.

About the Author(s)
author profile image

Mississippi Hemp Coalition

Mississippi Hemp Coalition is a state business association of retailers in the hemp industry organized for the development of consumer protection and choice, professional standards, legislative and regulatory advocacy, and free market growth in the state of Mississippi.