Ohio one of first states approved for hemp

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hemp growing at ag progress days.
(Farm and Dairy file photo)

SALEM, Ohio — Ohio’s hemp production plan is one of the first federally approved programs in the country.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the plan’s approval Dec. 27. It is one of only six state and tribal hemp production plans approved.

Farmers who want to grow hemp in Ohio will need to be licensed under the state’s plan. The Ohio Department of Agriculture is still in the rule-making process for hemp and had a public hearing on the proposed rules Dec. 18.

The ODA told Farm and Dairy in an email that it expects to finish finalizing rules at the end of January.

Farmers will be able to apply for licenses soon after the ODA finalizes the rules. Licensed growers are expected to be able to begin planting in 2020.

While some states, including West Virginia and Pennsylvania, allowed hemp production for research in years past, Ohio did not legalize hemp production in the state until July 2019. Pennsylvania’s plan is under review, and West Virginia is currently drafting a plan for USDA review.

Louisiana and New Jersey also had their state plans approved Dec. 27, along with the Flandreau Santee Sioux, Santa Rosa Cahuilla and La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indian Tribes’ plans.

The USDA is still receiving and reviewing state and tribal hemp production plans. To view the status of a plan or review an approved plan, visit www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/hemp/state-and-tribal-plan-review.

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