Mississippi task force weighs cost of allowing hemp farming

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JACKSON, Miss. — One of many concerns from a task force in Mississippi studying whether to allow farmers to grow hemp is distinguishing the legal crop from illegal marijuana.

News outlets report the Mississippi Hemp Cultivation Task Force met Wednesday in Jackson. The federal government legalized growing hemp with the passage of the 2018 farm bill.

The Clarion Ledger reports lab testing is needed to discern hemp from marijuana. Task force members are concerned about the cost associated with research, regulation and law enforcement.

Mississippi State University agricultural expert Wes Burger says hemp has the potential to be competitive with the state’s other major commodities.

The task force is expected to submit recommendations to the state legislature by the end of the year. Lawmakers could either legalize hemp or keep studying the issue.

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