Federal government OKs Wyoming's industrial hemp plan
The United States Department of Agriculture has approved Wyoming’s industrial hemp growing regulations.
February 25, 2020
After much anxiety from producers worried they could miss another growing season, the United States Department of Agriculture has approved Wyoming’s industrial hemp growing regulations.
“This is a brand new crop with inherent risks and a challenging regulatory structure so we encourage producers and processors to look closely at the rules and regulations if they choose to attempt growing or processing hemp in 2020,” Doug Miyamoto, director of the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, said in a news release. “With that said, we are excited to get this program off the ground and to start a hemp industry in Wyoming.”
Industrial hemp — which was legalized by the Wyoming Legislature roughly one year ago — has been a long time coming for producers across the state, who saw the non-psychoactive strain of the cannabis plant as a potential way to diversify their farms’ incomes.
More than 100 growers attended the state’s first-ever industrial hemp summit shortly after the bill was passed last spring and, since then, several hemp growers’ associations have sprouted up around the state.
However, the plan has had some delays.
After slow progress from the federal government in setting up its own regulations, Wyoming was forced to rework and then re-file its plan with the federal government last month, prompting some concern that prospective farmers could miss another growing season.
In the meantime, the Wyoming Department of Agriculture has drafted a set of emergency rules along with the rule’s passage allowing state government to implement a hemp program prior to the 2020 growing season.
The state, according to a news release, will continue its normal rule-making process and produce an official, final rule by the end of the emergency rules’ 120-day sunset date.