Medical Cannabis and Industrial Hemp Legislation Move Forward
Last week was an excellent one for cannabis legalization efforts in the Missouri legislature. On Wednesday, the Senate Agriculture Committee voted 5-0 to advance SB 255, which allows licensed individuals to grow industrial hemp. Along with HB 830, this bill represents the very real prospect that Missouri could return to its rightful place as a national — or even world — leader in hemp production and processing.
A medical cannabis bill advanced in the House of Representatives, when HB 800 was approved by the House Select Committee on General Laws by a vote of 8-0 on Tuesday. It is extremely encouraging to see how much support there is for medical cannabis legislation in the legislature. However, the flaws in this particular piece of legislation are mounting.
Since the first public hearing on this bill, two amendments have been adopted. Both will limit access for patients. One restricts the amount of cannabis a patient may possess to thirty grams every fifteen days. The other eliminates symptoms such as chronic pain, nausea, and seizures from the list of qualifying conditions. So, for example, if the bill passed in current form, a person who suffered from seizures with a diagnosis of epilepsy could qualify, but a person with the exact same symptoms brought by a traumatic brain injury would not. You can read more about the committee substitute here.
It seems fairly likely that House leadership will bring HB 800 up for a vote of the full House, and, if that happens, there will be an opportunity to improve the bill through additional amendments. Please help us fight for all of Missouri’s medical cannabis patients and make our system as strong as it can possibly be. Contribute $15, $25, or $50 now to join the fight!