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Hemp Laws State to State

Jessica McKeil
cannabis, Farm Bill, hemp, USA, legalization, hemp farmers, federal laws, state laws, medical cannabis, recreational cannabis, prohibition

Until the autumn of 2018, hemp was rolled into the prohibition of cannabis in general. The federal government had neglected to approve it as a useful commercial crop, despite its incredible versatility in that regard. The laws governing hemp in the US have gone from enforced grows to outright prohibition. Thankfully, with passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the war on hemp, at least, is over.

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Image credit: Acsess DL

The Farm Bill passed with bipartisan support and contained legislation to legalize hemp for agricultural production. While technically some farmers were permitted to grow hemp prior to 2018, there were significant restrictions, licensing and federally mandated approvals required. While the US government had allowed hemp for research purposes, they had not supported it for large scale commercial operations.

Now, with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, American farmers can jump on board a booming industry, which is expected to hit 10.6 billion USD by 2025.

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Here is a detailed guide to hemp grow rules, from state to state.

Alabama: Regulatory framework in response to the 2018 Federal Farm Bill is underway, but not finalized. Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan has said production of industrial hemp in the state won’t get underway until 2020 growing season.

Alaska: February 2018 the state issued a unanimous approval for industrial hemp production.

Arizona: Legislation passed in 2018 giving Arizona Department of Agriculture responsibility for the approval of hemp pilot programs for propagation, processing, manufacturing, distribution, and market research. Pilot programs set to begin in August of 2019.

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Arkansas: Still operating under the 2014 Farm Bill regulations, which covered hemp for research programs only. As of September 2018, the Arkansas State Plant Board was still accepting applications for the statewide Hemp Research Pilot Program.

California: State lawmakers signed the California Industrial Hemp Program into law in January 2017. However, the program is not yet open for registration. Applications and fees, once available, are on a county-by-county basis for approval by the county agricultural commissioner.

Colorado: No restrictions on how much acreage of industrial hemp a single business grows, but all seeds are required to come from a CDA certified source. All farmers must apply via the Commercial Industrial Hemp Registration, and the fees are nonrefundable.

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Connecticut: Pennsylvania has submitted a plan to the US Department of Agriculture to allow of full scale commercial hemp production.

Delaware: the Delaware Industrial Hemp Farming Bill was ready, when the Farm Bill passed, to immediately allow for industrial hemp production.

Florida: Industrial hemp production restricted to pilot research programs in the state of Florida. At the time of writing, only the University of Florida and the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University had been approved.

Georgia: Currently no industrial hemp grow program, nor hemp pilot programs underway within the state. In late 2018, two Republican committees submitted recommendations to allow for hemp production and cannabis oil production.

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Hawaii: In 2018, state lawmakers made the industrial hemp pilot program a permanent one. They also removed restrictions on hemp, which were leftover from the state’s marijuana prohibition. As per this update, industrial hemp may now be grown commercially, and not solely for research purposes.

Idaho: Currently no industrial hemp program, nor any hemp pilot programs underway within the state. Elected officials have issued statements in early 2019 against its legalization.

Illinois: Lawmakers approved the hemp act in 2018. Farmers must apply, and purchase a license through the Department of Agriculture. Costs include $100 one time application fee and $1000 for the permit.

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Indiana: In 2018 the Indiana government indicated it’s intent to create a sub-department within the Department of Agriculture to manage the production of hemp within the state. The intent was updated to specify that cannabis resin, as sourced from industrial hemp, was included in this program.

Iowa: Currently no industrial hemp grow program, nor hemp pilot programs underway within the state.

Kansas: Industrial hemp is allowed only for academic research, as approved by the department of agriculture under a specific agricultural pilot program. Only applicable for institutions of higher education. It remains to be seen how this legislation will be affected by the updated 2018 Farm Bill.

Kentucky: After the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, Kentucky passed legislation to create the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program through the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. Only licensees are allowed to grow in the state.

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Louisiana: Currently only industrial hemp grow program, no commercial allowed.

Maine: Maine has had a hemp growing program on the books since 2013. Farmers are allowed to grow hemp for commercial purposes, so long as they hold a license issued by the Commissioner of Agriculture Food and Rural Resources. A federal permit is also required.

Maryland: Maryland has an Industrial Hemp Pilot Program, although it is not clear if there are any licensed growers in the state to date.

Massachusetts: The state’s Department of Agricultural Resources manages hemp production both for commercial purposes and under an Agricultural Pilot Program. Processors and growers must apply for a license.

Michigan: The state supports industrial hemp research, although it is not clear if there are any licensed growers in the state to date.

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Minnesota: Minnesota Department of Agriculture Allows for the cultivation of industrial hemp, under the new regulations laid out by the 2018 Farm Bill. Farmers will still require a purchase a license, including a $37 one time fee and a background check.

Mississippi: Currently no industrial hemp grow program, nor hemp pilot programs underway within the state.

Missouri: As of 2018, Missouri made it legal “for any person who has received an industrial hemp license to grow, harvest, cultivate, and process industrial hemp.”

Montana: Montana allows for commercial production of hemp, as well as a Hemp Pilot Program. A State issued hemp license is $50, and the Hemp Pilot Program Participation costs $400. Fingerprint submissions and a background check are mandatory.

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Nebraska: Technically allowed for research purposes, but the state has been slow to implement a program supporting hemp farming. Seeds must be imported from an approved Canadian supplier.

Nevada: Industrial hemp is allowed only for academic research, as approved by the department of agriculture under a specific agricultural pilot program. Only applicable to institutions of higher education.

New Hampshire: Thus far the state has only allowed hemp production for research purposes and only by the University of New Hampshire.

New Jersey: Currently no industrial hemp grow program, nor hemp pilot programs underway within the state. Hemp has been authorized, but no plans in place. New Jersey has directed agricultural authorities to “promote the plant to the maximal extent permitted by law.”

New Mexico: New Mexico approved the development of a hemp cultivation program with licensing requirements and associated fees, under federal regulation.

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New York: In 2017 the state opened up the sale, distribution, transportation, and processing of industrial hemp under an Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program.

North Carolina: The production of industrial hemp has been technically allowed for many years now for research purposes. However, it has yet to go into effect. The regulations and approvals are still going through hearings.

North Dakota: Industrial hemp is allowed only for academic research, as approved by the department of agriculture under a specific agricultural pilot program. Only applicable to institutions of higher education. The Department of Agriculture is expected to update the state legislation to reflect the new 2018 Farm Bill during the 2019 legislative session.

Ohio: Currently no industrial hemp grow program, nor hemp pilot programs underway within the state. Still illegal in Ohio.

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Oklahoma: Industrial hemp is allowed only for academic research, as approved by the department of agriculture under a specific agricultural pilot program. Only applicable for institutions of higher education.

Oregon: The state has a significant hemp program. It allows commercial production of hemp producers receive the appropriate licenses. Applications are processed on an annual basis, with the yearly deadline on December 31.

Pennsylvania: Industrial hemp is allowed only for academic research, as approved by the department of agriculture under a specific agricultural pilot program. Only applicable for institutions of higher education. The Department of Agriculture is expected to update the state legislation to reflect the new 2018 Farm Bill during the 2019 legislative session.

Rhode Island: As of 2016 under the Hemp Growth Act Rhode Island allowed for industrial hemp provided the growers were approved. Licenses are issued via the Department of Agriculture.

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South Carolina: The state approved farming of industrial hemp in 2017, provided the farmer partnered with a university for research purposes. Each year there are limited available licenses (in 2018 there were 40 openings), and applications are due in Spring for farmers wishing to plant in the following year.

South Dakota: Currently no industrial hemp grow program, nor hemp pilot programs underway within the state.

Tennessee: Industrial hemp is allowed only for academic research, as approved by the department of agriculture under a specific agricultural pilot program. Only applicable for institutions of higher education. The Department of Agriculture is expected to update the state legislation to reflect the new 2018 Farm Bill during the 2019 legislative session.

Texas: Currently no industrial hemp grow program, nor hemp pilot programs underway within the state.

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Utah: In early 2018 Utah approved industrial hemp farming. The Utah Department of Agriculture has issued a set of regulations for public comment, with farmers expected to pay upwards of $1000 in fees and farms must be 1,000 feet from schools and parks.

Vermont: The state allows for the production of hemp for commercial purposes under an agricultural pilot program. Applications are annual, and there are “no residency requirements, minimum acreages, or limitations on the numbers of registrants.”

Virginia: Industrial hemp is allowed only for academic research, as approved by the department of agriculture under a specific agricultural pilot program. Only applicable for institutions of higher education. The Department of Agriculture is expected to update the state legislation to reflect the new 2018 Farm Bill during the 2019 legislative session.

Washington: Industrial hemp is allowed only for academic research, as approved by the department of agriculture under a specific agricultural pilot program. Only applicable for institutions of higher education. The Department of Agriculture is expected to update the state legislation to reflect the new 2018 Farm Bill during the 2019 legislative session.

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West Virginia: As of 2018, West Virginia has allowed farmers to grow industrial hemp in the state, provided they adhere to the specific regulations and obtain the appropriate licensing.

Wisconsin: Industrial hemp is allowed only for academic research, as approved by the department of agriculture under a specific agricultural pilot program. Only applicable for institutions of higher education under the pilot program.

Wyoming: While the state did pass a law approving the development of a hemp pilot project, the state has failed to follow through with it. There are no active hemp facilities in the state.

 

 

 

 

Jessica McKeil
Jessica McKeil

Jessica McKeil is a freelance writer focused on the medical marijuana industry, from production methods to medicinal applications. She is lucky enough to live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada where the cannabis industry is exploding. When not writing, she spends much of her time exploring in the coastal forests.

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