Wyoming Department of Agriculture begins work on industrial hemp program
March 18, 2019
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The Wyoming Department of Agriculture is beginning the process of regulating industrial hemp in Wyoming following the passage of HB171/HEA No. 0110 and Gov. Mark Gordon's signature.
During the 65th session of the Wyoming Legislature, the WDA was working on developing a plan, rules, a fee schedule, applications, and other necessary documents to implement a regulatory program for industrial hemp in Wyoming. With the signing of HB171/HEA No. 0110, the WDA has 30 days to submit a plan to the United States Department of Agriculture to request delegated authority for the regulation of industrial hemp.
"With the passage of the 2018 farm bill and the work of the legislature throughout the session, we have been working hard on the industrial hemp program to make sure we are ready when the time comes to implement a program here in Wyoming," said Doug Miyamoto, director of the Wyoming Department of Agriculture. "If we are legally able to do it, we are anxious to start a hemp program in Wyoming to provide more opportunities for our producers and processors with this productive, diversifying permitted crop across the state."
The USDA recently stated that they will hold state plan submissions until their rules are promulgated in the fall of 2019 and that states may continue to operate under the provisions of the 2014 farm bill. The state is currently assessing our legal authority to issue permits prior to USDA review of our industrial hemp plan.
"With the USDA not approving state plans until the fall, the most important thing right now is to make sure we have the legal authority to permit and regulate hemp under the provisions of the 2014 farm bill and existing statutes in Wyoming," said Miyamoto. "We are working with the Attorney General's Office and Gov. Gordon's office to answer this question but will continue developing the program so we are ready to go when we are legally able to start permitting."
In the meantime, the WDA will continue the rulemaking process for the program, working toward obtaining and installing testing equipment at the WDA Analytical Services Lab, and training employees for regulating this new permitted crop.
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For more information on the hemp program through the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, visit https://agriculture.wy.gov/divisions/ts/wyindustrialhemp.