Amid mounting scrutiny and pushes for bans on Delta-8 and other hemp-derived products around the country, Missouri Hemp Trade Association, has issued an open letter asking for supporters and industry participants to join the organization in a push for internal regulation.

The letter sets a foundation for the association’s position regarding the regulation of hemp in Missouri. To date, Missouri’s hemp program has been one of the nation’s most successful and has thrived. Missouri’s hemp laws have supported entrepreneurship and equity with a low barrier to entry and little regulation separating hemp businesses from those of other agricultural products.

Internally, The Missouri Hemp Trade Association has pushed members to follow safety and labeling requirements, despite no explicit requirements from the state.

The hemp industry is not without its share of issues, in the boom of delta-8 a plethora of mislabeled product or products with no warnings or labels at all have been sold in markets, convenience stores, in shops, and online. This past weekend, a stall at the Soulard Farmer’s Market touted as ‘Bud Man’ sold what it called “homegrown delta-8” to attendees with prices listed as $50 for small buds, $100 for large buds, and 10 lbs for $5000, all sold unbagged, unpackaged, and unlabeled out of black rubber containers. The city of St. Louis has since said that ‘Bud Man’ will not be returning in the near future.  Now as more occurrences like this begin to attract unwanted and overzealous attention, the Association moves to protect the hemp industry from reactionary regulation.

“To this point, our membership and other independent Missouri businesses have done their best at self-regulating but need clear guidelines. We cannot initiate legislation that overreaches the currently legal boundaries between hemp and marijuana. We need enabling legislation that authorizes the appropriate departments the authority to oversee hemp products in the industry. Consumer safety and protection should guide the decisions as we create regulations for hemp products. The Department of Agriculture is already authorized to oversee the production of hemp up to the point of testing and harvest and is released into the consumer market as a legal product. Other Departments that may oversee consumer goods hemp products need to be authorized by legislation or they cannot recognize their role in the open market. The lack of action at the federal level, in the last three years,  is crippling the hemp industry nationwide,” said Missouri Hemp Trade Association Chairman, Tyler Morgan.

“Although we need further regulation to bring the hemp industry in line with other consumer goods products, there is a need to improve existing hemp regulations that make the production of grain and fiber more financially viable for Missouri’s farmers. Missouri was number two in the nation for fiber production with only 600 acres. We need to open the door for Missouri farms and small businesses and close the doors on bad actors.”

The letter reads in part, “We as an Industry have been self-regulated and as such, we will fight for the right to continue within the framework that we are legally defined. There has been talk of ‘unregulated’, ‘unsafe’ products in the market. We have not and will not support any business or entities that bring unsafe, unmarketable, untested products to market or for any type of consumption.” Read the full letter below.

On social media the association issued a call to action accompanying the letter, “We must keep the Legal Hemp industry legal as defined by the Federal and State regulations. Unless we do it as a state through enabling legislation that is focused on consumer safety our departments will default to the FDA who has done nothing to support the success of the industry we have created.
“We are the one state and federally legal open market cannabis industry, Where federal agencies have failed to protect our farms and small businesses, we as a state retain the right to establish our own regulations in order to avoid undue economic harm. It’s more than time and we need your support to ensure Missouri has the strongest hemp industry across all sectors of business. We are food, We are clothing, We are energy, We are industry, We are medicine, We are agriculture, We are small business, We are the Legal Cannabis Industry.”
You can learn more about Missouri Hemp Trade Association – www.mohemptrade.org

The post MoHempTrade issues call for self regulation and consumer protection appeared first on Greenway Magazine.