HCS/HB 824 - This act modifies provisions relating to industrial hemp.
The act repeals the definitions for "grain", "grower" and "handler", modifies existing definitions, and creates several new definitions relating to industrial hemp.
The act repeals the Industrial Hemp Agricultural Pilot Program.
Any person who sells, distributes, or offers for sale any agricultural hemp propagule or agricultural hemp seed in the state shall obtain an agricultural hemp propagule and seed permit from the Department of Agriculture. A permit holder is exempt from requirements set forth in law relating to seed and fertilizer if he or she only sells, distributes, or offers for sale agricultural hemp propagules or agricultural hemp seed.
Under the act, the registration to grow industrial hemp may be transferred to a person, rather than a spouse or child, who meets the requirements of a registrant. Each individual parcel of ground or indoor cultivation facility with a separate legal description shall be required to obtain a separate registration unless the parcels are contiguous and owned by the same person of record.
Currently, a civil penalty of not less than $2,500 may be charged for violating provisions of law relating to industrial hemp. This act changes the minimum civil penalty to not less than $500 for such violations.
The act repeals provisions requiring any person growing industrial hemp to obtain a valid registration within 30 days.
If a crop contains an average THC concentration exceeding 0.3%, or the maximum concentration allowed under federal law, the Department of Agriculture may retest the crop. If the second test indicates that a crop contains an average THC concentration exceeding 0.3%, or the maximum concentration allowed under federal law, the Department may order a producer to destroy the crop.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol may, at their own expense, perform aerial surveillance to ensure illegal industrial hemp plants are not being cultivated on or near legal, registered industrial hemp plantings.
Unless required by federal law, the Department shall not regulate the sale or transfer of nonviable hemp to members of the general public, both within and outside of the state.
An institution of higher education based in Missouri and research centers directed or operated by such institutions may engage in the research and study of industrial hemp as authorized under the federal Agricultural Act of 2014 or any successor law without being required to obtain a registration.
Currently, the Department of Agriculture shall not issue a permit to a single registrant or permittee for a plot of land that is less than 10 acres or more than 40 acres, or over 2,000 acres statewide among all registrants or permittees. Additionally, the Department of Agriculture shall not issue a permit to an institute of higher education for a plot of land over 20 acres statewide. This act repeals all the acreage limitations from the Industrial Hemp Program.
Provisions of law relating to growers retaining seed from each industrial hemp crop are repealed.
Finally, provisions allowing the Missouri Crop Improvement Association, in collaboration with the Department, to establish and administer a certification program for agricultural hemp seed in the state are repealed.
This act contains an emergency clause for a certain section.
This act is identical to SCS/SB 482 (2019) and substantially similar to provisions contained in the truly agreed CCS/HCS/SB 133 (2019).