WISCONSIN – The eagerly anticipated industrial hemp administrative rule was released by Wiscsonin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Pro-tection (DATCP) last week.
Licensing applications are now available for Wisconsin’s research pilot program, and DATCP will begin accepting applications immediately. The deadline to apply for the 2018 growing season is May 1.
People who want to grow or process industrial hemp in Wisconsin will need to apply for a license, and at the same time, register their intentions to grow or process hemp in the state this year. They can do both online, or download printable forms, at datcp.wi.gov.
The state is not limiting how many licenses are issued or the number of acres for growing in the state. Applicants must pass a background check and pay several administrative fees.
Congress included a pro-vision in the 2014 farm bill to allow states to conduct research pilot programs into industrial hemp production, if authorized by their legis-latures. The Wisconsin Leg-islature passed a law in No-vember that directed DA-TCP to write an emergency administrative rule in 90 days. The rule sets up the regulatory framework for the pilot program.
That rule, called ATCP 22, is now finished and is effective March 2, 2018. The industrial hemp program it creates is based largely on those in the 31 other states.
The law, as passed by the Wisconsin State Legislature and signed by Governor Scott Walker, requires that growers and processors pass a background check to show that the licensee has no state or federal drug convictions. Growers will pay a one-time licensing fee of $150 to $1,000, depending on how many acres they intend to plant. Processors will also need a one-time li-cense, at no cost. Both will have to register with DA-TCP this year, and annually to remain in the program,