USDA Releases Hemp Growing Regulations For States

Nov 8, 2019

Hemp is a hardy plant that can diversify the crops grown in Wyoming.
Credit Pixabay

The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released its regulatory framework that states must follow if they plan to grow hemp. The Wyoming Department of Agriculture (WDA) submitted its proposal to grow hemp back in April but now must revise and resubmit its proposal to meet the USDA framework.

"In order for us to be able to implement a program at the state level, we have to have delegated authority from the USDA," said Derek Grant from the WDA. "They had said they were not going to give delegated authority to any states until they had their own regulatory framework in place."

Wyoming's legislature approved a plan to grow hemp in December 2018 and were legally required to submit a proposal to the USDA within 30 days of the plan being signed into law, which came in March. The original proposal was submitted before the USDA developed their guidelines.

Wyoming has 30 days to submit their revised proposal, and the USDA has 60 days after that to make a decision. The WDA hasn't been idle while waiting for the regulatory framework, though.

"We've been doing everything we could to be ready on our end. And that includes installing equipment to do testing of hemp samples in our lab, getting people up to speed on what it takes to sample hemp and getting basically all of the nuts and bolts of a program and a regulatory program ready to go at the state level," said Grant.

The WDA is hoping to have approval before the 2020 growing season so that Wyoming growers can begin planting.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Ivy Engel, at iengel@uwyo.edu.