The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (“2018 Farm Bill”) legalized hemp by removing the crop and its derivatives from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) and by providing a detailed framework for the cultivation of hemp. The 2018 Farm Bill gives the US Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) regulatory authority over hemp cultivation at the federal level. In turn, states have the option to maintain primary regulatory authority over the crop cultivated within their borders by submitting a plan to the USDA.
This federal and state interplay has resulted in many legislative and regulatory changes at the state level. Indeed, most states have introduced (and adopted) bills that would authorize the commercial production of hemp within their borders. A smaller but growing number of states also regulate the sale of products derived from hemp.
In light of these legislative changes, we are presenting a 50-state series analyzing how each jurisdiction treats hemp-derived cannabidiol (“Hemp CBD”). Each Sunday, we summarize a new state in alphabetical order. Today we turn to Mississippi.
Mississippi is one of the few states that did not allow hemp cultivation under the 2014 Farm Bill. As of this writing, Mississippi still doesn’t allow for hemp cultivation. But don’t fret, there is a task force!
Last year, Mississippi enacted House Bill 1547 which established the Mississippi Hemp Cultivation Task Force. The Task Force will study hemp cultivation, market potential, and job creation. The Mississippi Department of Agriculture has more information on the task force here.
Because Mississippi law doesn’t distinguish between marijuana and hemp, the sale of hemp-based products, including Hemp-CBD, is risky at best and illegal at worst. Mississippi has a very limited medical marijuana program, which allows the limited sale of CBD products. Most over-the-counter Hemp-CBD sales would not fall within the boundaries of this program. In addition, the Mississippi Department of Public Health and Safety recently issued a statement warning the public about the dangers of Hemp-CBD.
Mississippi’s hemp program is really non-existent at this point. Mississippi hasn’t exhibited a strong aversion to hemp like some other states (looking at you Idaho) but it also is in a small minority of states with no hemp cultivation regulations. This may change in light of the 2018 Farm Bill, but as it currently stands, Mississippi is not a great place for hemp-related activities.
For previous coverage in this series, check out the links below: