In an attempt to aid in economic growth across the state of Mississippi, Rep. Joel Bomgar has authored House Bill 390 that would allow for the production and sale of Hemp.

When people hear hemp, they often hear “marijuana,” but those are two very different things explains Bomgar.

“Hemp has zero psychoactive properties. It is not marijuana, it is used for industrial and environmental purposes,” said Bomgar.

Hemp and Marijuan do come from the same plant, Canabis Sativa L., and can often look very similar. However, hemp has little to no  psychoactive properties. It is used for industrial purposes, and has been in the U.S. for years. According to the Industrial Hemp in the United States: Status and Market Potential research, hemps closest competing textile fiber is linen, Bomgar said in Mississippi cotton would be the primary competitor for the product.

“There are many economic benefits for hemp production in Mississippi including job creation and revenue for the state,” said Bomgar. “There are still unknowns about the benefits of hemp production, but we won’t find out until we try.”

The production of hemp would be for industrial use only, and subject to regulations. Any growers or handlers would be required to own a hemp seed production permit. These permits would authorize the holder to produce and handle agricultural hemp seed for sale to licensed industrial hemp growers and handlers. The growers are also responsible to ensure that the seed meets any agricultural standards set by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce.

If approved the bill would go into effect July 2, 2018.

Read HB390 HERE.