Maine and Missouri are the latest states to have their hemp plans approved by the U.S Department of Agriculture.
Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) Commissioner Amanda Beal welcomed the announcement
“Hemp is becoming an important part of Maine’s agriculture sector,” said Commissioner Beal. “Approval of our hemp production plan means Maine’s growers will have certainty about the expectations and guidelines for hemp cultivation for the coming years.”
The Department will now proceed to reconcile the differences between its existing program and the USDA’s Interim Final Rule concerning hemp during the upcoming January 2021 legislative session. The state’s current program includes 110 outdoor licenses and seven indoor grower licenses.
More information on Maine’s hemp program can be found here.
Over to Missouri now, where the state’s Department of Agriculture says the USDA’s approval was granted with no required changes to existing state regulation. Missouri’s industrial hemp producers will continue operations under the existing regulatory framework.
This year was Missouri’s first growing season – some stats:
- 197 Registered Producers
- 75 Agricultural Hemp Propagule and Seed Permit Holders
- 3,696 acres planned
- 63 trained and certified industrial hemp samplers
Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn said the Department had worked hard to incorporate feedback from growers, industry stakeholders and federal partners over the last several months.
“We hope that this is the certainty that many in the emerging industry have been looking for,” stated Mr. Chinn.
More information on Missouri’s hemp program can be found here.
The 2018 Farm Bill directed USDA to approve hemp production plans submitted by states and Indian tribes to ensure hemp would be grown in harmony with the Bill and regulations set by USDA. This year, states have been permitted to operate under the provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill if they so choose.
The Interim Final Rule for hemp is supposed to be fully implemented at the end of October, but there have been growing calls for it to be delayed due to various issues within the Rule.
With the addition of hemp plan approvals for Maine, Missouri and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians announced last week, the total number of USDA approved hemp plans stands at 58. A full list can be viewed here.