Yall Politics reports…
The Mississippi Hemp Cultivation Act (Senate Bill 2725) was signed into law on June 29, 2020. This act legalized the cultivation of hemp under a state plan to be created and implemented by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce. Although the act allowed for a state hemp cultivation program, the necessary funding to implement the state program was not appropriated by the Mississippi Legislature.
“I appreciate the Mississippi Legislature providing farmers with access to a new agricultural commodity. However, the economic stress of COVID-19 made it difficult for the Legislature to find a way to fund the program. As a result, the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce cannot implement a state hemp program. Should the Legislature decide to fund a hemp program, MDAC will request to be the licensing agency,” said Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson.
Gipson continued, “However, I have been in constant communication with the USDA as we prepared to implement a hemp program for Mississippi. In late June, I notified the USDA that the Mississippi Hemp Cultivation Act had passed, but without funding for the program. I requested the USDA accept applications and issue hemp grower licenses for Mississippians under the USDA plan. The USDA has agreed to this plan, and Mississippians can from August 1 through October 31 submit applications for a hemp license from the USDA under the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program.”
Guidance for producers wanting to obtain a USDA hemp production license can be found at www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/hemp/information-producers. Applicants must provide a copy of a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal history report. An applicant will not receive a USDA hemp production license if the applicant has been convicted of a felony related to a controlled substance in the last 10 years.