Hemp-growing application numbers rise dramatically in Wisconsin

Nearly 2,100 individuals, businesses applied
Hemp-growing application numbers rise dramatically in Wisconsin

Nearly 2,100 individuals and businesses applied to grow or process industrial hemp in 2019, which is a dramatic increase from last year.

According to a release from the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, to date, of the 1,405 individuals and businesses that have applied to grow hemp this year, 1,244 would be first-time growers. Processor applications are at 692, with 636 first-time applicants. In 2018, there were 247 grower licenses and 100 processors licenses issued.

Applications and renewals were due by midnight March 1, but forms will be accepted as long as they are postmarked by March 1.

“We attribute much of the increase to removal of industrial hemp from the controlled substances act as part of the 2018 farm bill late last year. That removed much of the legal uncertainty that may have held participation back somewhat last year,” said Brian Kuhn, director of the department’s Plant Industry Bureau, which houses the hemp program.

Kuhn said they are asking applicants to be patient, as so it could take six to eight weeks to process applications.

Growing or processing hemp requires a one-time license in Wisconsin. Annual registration is also required.

Get your weather forecast from people who actually live in your community. We update with short, easy-to-use video forecasts you can watch on your phone every day. Download the iOS or Android app here.