Mississippi is seeing the effects of Marijuana legalization in other states and countries. Andy Gipson, Commissioner of Agriculture said that the majority of seed that Mississippi farmers use comes from outside of the state and that they have detected hemp or marijuana seeds in the supply.
“I just got a report on Monday that we are detecting marijuana seed in some of these seed sacks that are coming in here to our state from places like California, so hemp is showing up in trace amounts in feed and seed and we are looking at doing something about it,” Gipson said. “My concern is, it’s still illegal in Mississippi, but a lot of the problems that we have are these invasive species that come in here from outside of our borders from places like California, New York, and Illinois and we need to keep that out because we don’t want some farmer, or for that matter a deer hunter, sowing seed and then next thing they know, they have got an unintentional crop of marijuana growing on their place.”
Gipson clarified that the trace amounts are not microscopic. Some of the seeds in the bags are marijuana seeds and it’s not just a single brand. He said they are still getting the information together, but that multiple companies from different states have sold the seed.
“What’s happening is it’s being grown legally, commercially, they have a lot of big investor groups that are buying into it and planting it all over the country, these seeds, whether the birds are moving them I don’t know, but they are getting into other crops that are valid that we use on a regular basis in Mississippi,” Gipson said.
Gipson added that hemp is a very invasive species and said that they are working to combat the issue by using their farmer based advisory group to consider options going forward which may include taking regulatory action.
“It is an interesting time,” Gipson said. “You have a federal prohibition of it, and then so many states have legalized it and now Canada. We have got to find a way to address this issue.”