ST. LOUIS — In time for the 2020 growing season, Missouri farmers will be able to grow industrial hemp.
Producers will first need to obtain a permit from the Missouri Department of Agriculture, according to St. Louis Public Radio. The online applications will begin to be processed on Jan. 2.
"Producers should know that they need to wait for that final approval before purchasing, receiving or planting industrial hemp seed," said Sami Jo Freeman, a spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Agriculture. "We really want them to have that registration in hand so that legally they are in a good spot."
Initially, hemp was banned across the country because of its relation to marijuana, until the 2018 Farm Bill that allowed for industrial hemp production nationwide. Each state was then in charge of their own regulation and permits.
Allowing industrial hemp to be farmed again allows for production of a variety of products like textiles, rope, biodegradable plastic and the supplement cannabidiol known as CBD oil.
Freeman says the addition of a new crop has been a learning experience "not only for the industry, but for government entities who are trying to provide opportunities for producer and industry feedback."