Wisconsin ending hemp pilot, joining federal hemp program

Wisconsin will not continue its hemp pilot program in 2022. 

Ag Secretary Designee Randy Romanski says DATCP’s plan is to transition from a state-run hemp program to a federally-run program now that USDA has finalized its hemp rules. “There seems to be an understanding that this transition provides hemp growers with the greatest opportunity to produce hemp in Wisconsin. That’s been our goal since day one, and this is the next step in that journey.”

Wisconsin Hemp Alliance President Rob Richard says this is absolutely the right decision by state officials. “From day one, as an advocate of hemp we’ve always had the mantra that we just want to have to be treated like any other agricultural crop, and I think with this move to the federal level, we are starting to get there.”

Brian Kuhn with the Wisconsin Department of Ag, Trade, and Consumer Protection says growers will continue working with the state in this current growing season. “So we fully have the hemp program in Wisconsin through December 31st of this year, and that’s the date on which the actual current pilot research program is scheduled to expire.”

Kuhn says one plus for Wisconsin hemp growers and processors will be the costs.  He says lower-cost private labs will be able to do the private hemp testing, and the three-year federal licenses are free. Kuhn expects no significant changes in testing procedures or guidelines as the current Wisconsin program is in line with the federal rule.

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