For the first time in more than 70 years, Missouri farmers will be allowed to grow industrial hemp during the 2020 growing season.

But they will first need to obtain a permit from the Missouri Department of Agriculture. The applications are now online and the department will begin processing them on the first day of the year.

“Growers should be aware that they must wait for final approval before buying, receiving or planting industrial hemp seed. We want them to have this registration in hand so they are legally in a good position. Said Sami Jo Freeman, a spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

Industrial hemp banned across the country because of its relationship to marijuana. Proponents of reopening the crop argued that the level of the marijuana chemical that causes a high is only exist in trace amounts in the hemp.

“You’d have to smoke a joint of hemp the size of a telephone pole to get high. Said Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union. “Hemp has banned because it looks like marijuana.”

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