The U.S state of Missouri has decided to approach the 2020 hemp season without a USDA-approved state plan for the crop.
In late October, the United States Department of Agriculture published its Interim Final Rule for hemp, which apparently also enables states to operate without a USDA-approved state plan for one year – and Missouri has chosen to take advantage of this extension.
“After working with producers, closely analyzing the federal requirements passed down by Congress and USDA, and incorporating our own state law, we determined that Missouri should spend the 2020 growing season learning more about what works in our state,” said Missouri’s Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn. “We are confident this is the best choice for our producers in Missouri.”
During the 2020 season, the program will operate under regulations set in Missouri Senate Bill 133 and the 2014 Farm Bill.
The Department will publish application forms and the Originating Agency Identification (ORI) number necessary to complete the State and Federal Criminal History background check on December 16; however, it will not begin accepting applications for Producer Registrations and Agricultural Hemp Propagule and Seed Permits until January 2.
The application fee is $750 per application and is non-refundable.
There will be no limit to the number of registrations/permits issued and applications will be able to be lodged year-round. Permits and registrations will be valid for three years, assuming ongoing compliance by the holder.
The basic requirements for registration are pretty simple – the applicant must be a Missouri resident or the entity must headquartered in the state, the location for the hemp activity can’t be a residence, and the applicant and key participants must pass a State and Federal Criminal History fingerprint background check.
Acknowledging the growing pains of the U.S hemp industry, the Missouri Department of Agriculture is advising prospective growers to secure a market for their crops prior to planting. There’s been a hemp glut in the USA this year and not enough processing capacity, which has led to a number of farmers facing difficulties in finding buyers – and in some cases even contracts for purchase have reportedly not been honoured.
More information on Missouri’s hemp program can be found here.