COUNTY AG NEWS

Industrial Hemp in Wisconsin: The First Steps

The University of Wis-consin Madison and University of Wisconsin-Extension have been inundated with questions related to industrial hemp production since the passing of the 2017 Wisconsin Act 100.

The below information was authored by Patrick Robinson, associate dean Department of agriculture and natural resources, Cooperative Extension, UW-Extension. Robinson recognizes William (Bill) Barker, associate dean for research, The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a significant contributor to this article. Robinson also recognizes the Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Pro-tection (DATCP) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) sources as some language was copied verbatim for legal purposes.

• Wisconsin growers will be able to grow and process industrial hemp under 2017 Wisconsin Act 100, a law recently passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor. The law directs the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to write an emergency administrative rule that will spell out the details of the program, including requirements for growers. This is a pilot program to study growth, cultivation and marketing of industrial hemp. Participants will be required to obtain a license from DATCP to grow hemp, and to pass a background check before receiving a license. DATCP will complete the emergency rule by March 2, 2018. This rule will remain in effect until July 2020, or until the permanent administrative rule is completed – whichever comes earlier. As of today, the rules and pilot program have not been developed. More can be found here: https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/IndustrialHemp.aspx.

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