State agriculture officials are making significant changes to the proposed rules for Missouri's industrial hemp program.

State agriculture officials are making significant changes to the proposed rules for Missouri's industrial hemp program published in the Missouri Register on Nov. 1 after the United States Department of Agriculture published the interim final rules for the federal industrial hemp program following a two-day preview on Oct. 31.

Legislation signed into law in 2018 mandates the United States Department of Agriculture to implement regulations and guidelines to facilitate the licensed production of industrial hemp and products containing hemp-derived cannabinoids. Individual state plans must comply with the federal rules in order to be approved. 

As Missouri’s Department of Agriculture works to establish regulations and procedures in advance of the 2020 industrial hemp growing season, the department is asking for public comment on the proposed rules for Missouri's industrial hemp program.

Citizens may submit their comments through Dec. 1, 2019. When reviewing the proposed rules, bracketed and italicized words are proposed to be removed, bolded words are new or revised language and unformatted words are retained from the original rule. 

State and federal fingerprint criminal background checks and a new fee schedule are some of the regulations that state agriculture officials have proposed as part of Missouri’s industrial hemp program.

The proposed rules are available for review, and comments may be submitted at https://agriculture.mo.gov/proposed-rules/. The rules amend existing requirements and transition the legal growth of industrial hemp in Missouri from a pilot program to a commercially regulated program. Under federal law, cannabis plants containing no more than 0.3 percent THC are no longer classified as a schedule I controlled substance.