Expert: Mississippi's wet climate could be tough for hemp

An expert says growing hemp could be risky in Mississippi because of the wet climate and because there's no federally approved pesticide for the plant. - Photo Source: Barbetorte / CC BY-SA 3.0 / MGN

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - An expert says growing hemp could be risky in Mississippi because of the wet climate and because there's no federally approved pesticide for the plant.

The Clarion Ledger reports that the director of the state Bureau of Plant Industry, Michael Ledlow, spoke Monday during the first meeting of a Hemp Cultivation Task Force.

The U.S. Congress last year approved allowing production of non-intoxicating hemp in heavily regulated programs. The task force will make recommendations that Mississippi lawmakers could consider in 2020.

Chris McDonald is federal affairs director at the Mississippi Department of Agriculture. He says before the state can allow hemp farming, it must submit a plan to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and federal law enforcement agencies, saying how it would regulate the plant, its farmers and processors.

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