The Montana Department of Agriculture received formal approval of its hemp production plan by the United States Department of Agriculture on March 6, 2020 after a 60-day review period.
The 2018 Farm Bill directed USDA to develop a national regulatory framework for hemp and include a process for states desiring to have primary authority to submit their production plans. On October 31, 2019, the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program was established through the USDA’s Interim Final Rule (IFR)
This included provisions for licensing requirements, sampling and testing procedures, maintaining information on land where hemp is produced, and disposal requirements.
“I’m pleased with USDA’s approval of our plan, but still see a need to advocate for what will work best in Montana,” said Director Ben Thomas. “Because the hemp industry is so new, and growing conditions can vary so much from state to state, there’s still potential for improving oversight at the federal level.”
Interest in hemp surged and over 200 licensed growers planted approximately 50,000 acres in 2019. MDA worked diligently to develop and establish its program with input from growers, law enforcement, and stakeholders.
Growers can expect procedures similar to those implemented in 2019 for the 2020 growing season.
Montana State Hemp License applications have been available since January and MDA will continue to accept them through April 30th. For more information on the Montana Department of Agriculture visit their website.