Wyoming farmers were hoping that they could possibly start growing hemp this summer. But as the summer comes close to an end, the United States Department of Agriculture still hasn't approved Wyoming's industrial hemp plan. It also hasn't released its own hemp regulations.
Gov. Mark Gordon said the department should release its hemp rules and approve Wyoming's rules by this fall. He said in the meantime, the state is working on preparing for the day when the rules will be approved. This includes ordering testing equipment.
"The level of THC is really the issue and that becomes very important because if it has too high a level it becomes a regulated drug, and Wyoming doesn't have that capacity right now," he said.
He also said the state is using this extra time to try to figure out what's the best method to test the level of THC in products.
"There seems to be a number of different methodologies. Montana has one approach that is a little different than what other states are going to do, so I think it will be an academic exercise to see what works."
Gordon said hemp will help diversify the amount of crops Wyoming farmers can grow. Lawmakers approved hemp as a crop this past legislation session.