The hemp industry is one of the fastest growing markets in the United States, thanks to the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. Today, hemp is sold and used across the country with limited restrictions, as long as the products sold meet the criteria set forth by the law.
But since the country is only just easing into the legality of hemp, some local jurisdictions have taken it into their hands to regulate the movement of hemp. And just like many other states, Missouri’s marijuana laws intertwine with regulations guarding hemp, which may dictate the freedoms of locals in relation to the use and possession of hemp.
When talking of hemp laws, it’s impossible not to talk about marijuana regulation. That’s because way back in 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act criminalized hemp and marijuana together. The reason for this is because lawmakers though the herbs were the same, since they came from the same cannabis plant.
The difference however is that hemp doesn’t contain enough tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to produce the same psychoactive effects as marijuana. Cultivators achieve this by adopting specific cultivation techniques that reduce the presence of THC in the herb’s chemistry.
So, although hemp and marijuana both come from cannabis, only marijuana produces the experience of a ‘high’, which is why it remains illegal as a recreational drug in the state of Missouri.
All of that said, why is it important to consider marijuana laws when talking about hemp? Well, because hemp and marijuana can’t be differentiated based on their appearance and odor, being caught smoking raw hemp flower in Missouri could cause some confusion for law enforcers.
Technically, it should be legal for you to smoke raw hemp flower in public spaces because hemp itself is not a controlled substance. But because hemp could easily be mistaken for marijuana, anyone who doesn’t want the inconvenience might be better off smoking hemp at home.
Not exactly. Hemp edibles are some of the most popular products across the hemp market. With everything from gummies to peanut butter, and even hemp-infused water, it seems the possibilities are endless when it comes to infusing food with hemp extract. But while they are pretty widely available, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re legal.
Interestingly enough, the FDA actually states that hemp isn’t approved as a food additive in any of its forms. So, incorporating hemp into food and drink products is against the law. Nonetheless, it doesn’t seem like law enforcement is too keen on implementing the regulation thus the widespread accessibility of hemp-infused edibles both on and offline.
Of course, while they are illegal, there’s nothing to indicate that you can’t use them anyway. With online vendors shipping hemp-infused edibles across state borders, you can expect to be able to purchase and use CBD food and drink without running in with the law.
The state of Missouri allows licensed farmers to cultivate hemp industrially, but prohibits private individuals from growing the herb for their personal use. That means anyone caught growing hemp without a license can be subject to steep fines and penalties depending on the amount of hemp grown.
That said, it would be best to steer clear of any personal cultivation and stick to buying affordable hemp flower instead. And because Missouri doesn’t put any restrictions or limitations on the amount of hemp that a person can buy at any one time, you can get access to cost-effective hemp flower whether in-state or across borders.
Although marijuana remains illegal in the state of Missouri, hemp enthusiasts can rest easy knowing that the hemp market is thriving. And because the state is slowly easing away from the stigma against marijuana, we can expect laws surrounding hemp to further loosen up over time.