Can Hemp Legally Be Grown in the US?

Find out if it's legal to grow industrial hemp in your state! Learn about regulations & guidelines related to growing & harvesting hemp.

Can Hemp Legally Be Grown in the US?

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has outlined how states and tribes can submit plans that enable producers to cultivate hemp in those areas. Although recreational use of cannabis is prohibited in the United States, state laws may differ. Currently, there are 11 legal states for hemp in the US: Alaska, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, Vermont, Washington and Oregon. In a nutshell, it is legal to grow industrial hemp in the United States.

All states have legalized the process as long as the crop contains a maximum of 0.3% THC in dry weight. However, you can ONLY grow hemp commercially once you receive the required permission from your state. An official website of the United States government Official websites Governor A.

The gov website is owned by an official government organization in the United States. The lack of available data, market analysis and scientific research increases uncertainty for individual decision-making and the development of this emerging US industry. The reintroduction of industrial hemp through state pilot programs demonstrated the potential of a crop last commercially produced in the United States in the 1950s. Industrial hemp, a crop historically cultivated for fiber, seeds, oil and now cannabidiol (CBD) oil, is the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any of its parts with a very low concentration of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

Clearly distinguishing industrial hemp from marijuana was a fundamental legal step in allowing hemp production to resume in the United States. Production levels grew rapidly with the arrival of new producers on the market. Pilot hemp programs were successful in restarting production on a crop that hadn't been cultivated in the United States for decades; however, reintroducing a crop into the agricultural landscape brought challenges. A challenge for the hemp industry is the lack of basic production and market data and information, essential for making informed decisions. For example, a lack of research on best agronomic practices for hemp or the relative profitability with alternative products can lead to risky decision-making.

Canada is perhaps the most relevant analogue for the US. Canada's modern hemp industry developed following a legislative and political trajectory similar to that of the US industry but it started 20 years earlier. In 1994, the Canadian government offered experimental research licenses for hemp production. In 1998, commercial production was legalized in Canada with producer licenses and other regulatory provisions covering production, processing, transportation, delivery, sale and trade provided by Health Canada. Historically, Canada has exported hemp to the United States and over the past decade US imports of Canadian hemp oil have increased. Hemp production has a long history in Europe and was an important source of canvas and rope for European navies as early as the 18th century.

The European hemp industry has remained relatively small, in part due to the high cost of specialized equipment for handling hemp fiber and the limited demand for textile and food uses of hemp. The European Union (EU) subsidized fiber crops including hemp as part of its Common Agricultural Policy -the EU version of the US Farm Bill- in the 1970s but then phased out most support programs. Like trends in Canada, European hemp production is recovering in response to growing demand for organic seeds for food consumption and increasing demand for CBD oil products. Europe continues to supply raw and processed hemp to the United States. Federal law requires that to be legal hemp must not contain more than 0.3% THC in dry weight. If it were possible to smoke a garbage bag full of hemp you wouldn't get high.

Colorado is one of those states that have extremely liberal laws when it comes to hemp as it is one of few states that legalizes recreational hemp. This increases tax rate for this crop so it is necessary to make immediate changes to law to make hemp economically viable in state. The bill to legalize industrial hemp has been proposed by state legislature and appears to have tremendous support from people across state. Canada, Europe and China are main foreign hemp-producing regions and may prove to be formidable competitors for an emerging US industry. State legislators are currently establishing guidelines for hemp production and will issue permits according to USDA regulations.

Farmers grow hemp for manufacturers looking for cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG) for their oils, lotions and food and beverages. It's hemp or what is now often referred to as marijuana because again hemp and marijuana are same plant and difference between two is an arbitrary and very small amount of THC. And earlier this year Oregon State University announced launch of Global Hemp Innovation Center largest hemp research organization in US. Agency is currently working on guidelines and regulations for growing hemp in this state according to state and federal law. The Utah Department of Agriculture website offers requests for those interested in growing hemp. The Oregon Department of Agriculture is widely praised for its regulatory and agricultural knowledge and works to ensure that hemp growers understand rules and best practices for growing and harvesting hemp.

Continue reading to learn about hemp production plans guidelines for sampling and testing procedures removal of plants that do not meet necessary requirements requirements. Recreational marijuana is also legal in all four states so even if you can't grow it at home finding varieties high in CBD at local dispensary is relatively easy. The purpose of pilot program was to educate people about production and cultivation of industrial hemp. The new law SB 482 immensely supports this movement promoting easing restrictions abolishing surface limits facilitating research on hemp at universities.

Jane Engwall
Jane Engwall

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