Hemp cultivation permits in Wisconsin are down significantly so far this year as the state Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has issued 340 licenses in the first three months of 2021, while there were 1,301 licenses issued in all of last year, Brownfield News reports.
In 2019, the state issued 1,325 hemp licenses.
Processor licenses are also down from 619 in 2020 to 248 so far this year. And while the state is still accepting industry applications, DATCP Secretary-designee Randy Romanski indicated the numbers are “down a little bit compared to previous years.”
“The goal with this being a pilot was that we would see some of these markets develop as time went on here, and I think the market is trying to find its way.” – Romanski to Brownfield News
Wisconsin still operates its hemp program under provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill despite federal hemp reforms in 2018. The DATCP last month said it was working on emergency rules to update the state’s hemp regime following a U.S. Department of Agriculture Final Rule in January that changed some federal requirements, including raising the THC limits for plant eradication from 0.3% to 1% and increasing the testing window for hemp crops.
In 2020, the state licensed about 14,100 acres for hemp cultivation, a decrease from the 16,000 acres licensed in the state in 2019.
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