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March 6, 2019

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Call to Action

February 22, 2019

 

Below is communication from a national hemp grower's organization, Mississippi farmers need your help to bring this highly profitable crop to our state.

 

Friends,

 

As we reported to you last week, legislation to legalize hemp in Mississippi passed the MS House of Representatives as an amendment to House Bill 1547, which simply amends the Mississippi Controlled Substance List to mirror the hemp definition and exclusion that the 2018 Farm Bill made to the federal Controlled Substance List. This bill has been sent to the Senate and is awaiting being assigned to a committee. 

 

We are of the opinion that this bill WILL NOT MOVE FORWARD WITHOUT POSITIVE SUPPORT FROM YOU.

 

Frankly, the Senate has not heard from enough farmers, manufacturers, landowners, and investors that want to see hemp become legal in Mississippi. We encourage you to call Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves’ office and tell him and his staff that Mississippians want to see HB 1547 move forward. Speak to someone, don’t just leave a message. Send a positive message that Mississippians want the Legislature to take the first step to making hemp legal in Mississippi.

 

Call Lt. Governor Reeves’ Office: 601-359-3200.

 

Suggested talking points include:

 

  • Mississippians support provisions in HB 1547 to exempt hemp from the Mississippi Controlled Substance List as done in the 2018 Farm Bill.

  • Mississippi farmers want to be able to grow hemp and reap benefits from this explosive new market.

  • Passing HB 1547 as transferred by the House is only the first step to legalizing hemp; legalization still requires a state regulatory plan created by Ag Commissioner Andy Gipson.

  • Please help HB 1547 move forward to amend the Controlled Substance List to exclude hemp as provided at the federal level through the 2018 Farm Bill.

  • The House has already spoken to support hemp, we need the Senate to do the same.

  • States all across the country are moving quickly to expedite legislation and regulations to allow for hemp cultivation and processing.

  • This bill is the first step to giving farmers a new opportunity and will create economic growth through processing facilities in rural towns.

  • This is NOT a backdoor to marijuana legalization. This is an agricultural commodity that can be grown and processed according to a highly regulated state program.

  • This is a non-partisan issue and is a good economic move for Mississippi. 

  • Let’s not miss an opportunity to do something positive for Mississippi.

  • The hemp provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill were led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who sees industrial hemp as a major opportunity for his state.

  • The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp at the federal level and requires state Ag Commissions to submit a state regulatory plan to the USDA for approval.

  • The regulatory program established by the Ag Commission will have to include:

    • Having a system to license and approve growers and handlers

    • Knowing exactly where hemp is grown, using GPS coordinates

    • Testing crops to ensure compliance

    • Collecting fees for licensure and testing

    • Sharing information with the federal government

  • The Farm Bill requires hemp to have less than 0.3% THC, which is such a small amount of the psychoactive compound that it cannot cause intoxicating effects. This will be tested for compliance and safety.

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