Experts in Mississippi are discussing the possibility of growing hemp and the impact it could have on the state. The Hemp Cultivation Task Force held its first meeting this week at the State Capitol. MPB's Jasmine Ellis reports.
The task force is addressing topics including regulation, cultivation, and law enforcement issues about hemp. Cannabidiol or CBD is a chemical found in hemp that doesn't make people feel high like another form of cannabis, marijuana. That's according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Public Safety Commissioner Marshall Fisher is a member of the group. He says he's not opposed to hemp farming but does have some concerns regarding the controversy surrounding hemp, marijuana, and intoxication.
"We just want to make sure it's done right and proper where it does not impact the issues that we have with respect to law enforcement," said Fisher. "Those being...the naked eye cannot distinguish between marijuana plant and a hemp plant. You can't distinguish between a marijuana plant and a hemp plant by smelling it.
Deaundrea Delaney attended the meeting and is opening a CBD dispensary soon in Pearl. She says there are health benefits associated with it.
"CBD is good for anxiety, epilepsy, pain management, arthritis," said Delaney.
She says she thinks Mississippi would benefit from hemp cultivation.
"I'm tired of Mississippi always being the last to do something that I think is beneficial not only to people but for the Mississippi infrastructure," said Delaney. "I think that we have so many untapped resources in dealing with the cultivation of hemp and CBD products."
The Hemp Cultivation Task Force plans on meeting again on September 25. Lawmakers are requesting a report from the group by the end of the year.