Wisconsin’s Hemp Program Will Be Handed Over to Federal Authorities – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2021-10-15 12:32:12 –

Wisconsin will be the first state to relinquish authority over the state’s hemp program to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The announced transition will take place on January 1, 2022. From that day on, Wisconsin farmers and hemp processors have been Final rule of hemp Released by USDA earlier this year.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has overseen some of the most difficult years of cannabis in the state. When the 2014 Agricultural Bill was enacted, industrial cannabis became a legal crop in Wisconsin under a research pilot program. Wisconsin cannabis growers and processors must submit a research plan to be licensed as a cannabis donor for research purposes. When the 2018 Department of Agriculture bill fully legalized hemp, many delays in USDA’s efforts to publish final rules and deploy legal hemp structures nationwide caused confusion.

In October 2020, Wisconsin farmers and processors were struggling to catch up with federal regulations. USDA failed to approve Wisconsin’s cannabis program, lawmakers extended Wisconsin’s farmers’ deadline With a nickname of time.. DATCP still Moved to another hemp program It took more than two years to create while waiting for the USDA’s final rules on hemp.

Hard crop to grow

Since then, interest in cannabis cultivation in Wisconsin has unexpectedly declined significantly. An application to become a licensed cannabis grower or processor, which previously exceeded 2,200 a year, Fell to 1,339 In 2021, it decreased by 42%. Of these 1,339, more than 1,000 were return applicants. Not only was the Wisconsin hemp industry unable to attract a new face, but in just three years it drove off almost half of the crowd willing to shoot it.

Hemp, and thus cannabis itself, is a difficult crop to grow because it is just one type of cannabis that has a low psychoactive effect and requires a lot of care, infrastructure and water. Unlike other crops, hemp requires regular testing to ensure that it does not contain more than 0.3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis). If so, cannabis plants are considered illegal marijuana and must be destroyed.In addition, most of the cultivated cannabis is dedicated to extracting cannabidiol (CBD) products, which were very popular a few years ago, but production far exceeded demand, leading the price of CBD. Did drop down, Along with hemp profitability.

As a result, Wisconsin’s cannabis acreage was split into three, reducing from 14,200 acres to 5,300 acres during the 2021 growth period. Today, in a volatile situation, DATCP has taken control of the industry to federal authorities.

“Through ongoing outreach between industry stakeholders and the USDA, DATCP’s plan is to move the program from a state-owned program to a federal-run program. This transition will be the largest producer of cannabis in Wisconsin. We believe that opportunities will be brought to cannabis growers, “said Randy Romansky, Secretary-General of DATCP.

What to expect from this change

Wisconsin, along with North Carolina, was the first state to abandon control of its own hemp program. Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Mississippi also operate directly under USDA jurisdiction, but unlike Wisconsin, there were no state plans in the first place.

The reason behind Wisconsin’s decision to abandon state control of hemp seems to be purely financial. A June report from the Legislative Finance Bureau found that the hemp program was set up with a negative balance at the end of the year. $ 450,000.. This is primarily due to the ever-changing legal framework imposed by federal authorities and the reduction in fees associated with applications that were to continue to fund hemp programs. This is because the plunge is constantly increasing costs. The state legislature refused to provide additional funding. DATCP proposed doubling the application fee to increase income, but eventually opposed and instead chose to abandon the program to federal authorities.

The issue of state-to-federal administration came to light last year when no one knew whether federal lawmakers would allow our state to hold a hemp program. At that time, DATCP insisted that it wanted to maintain the state’s program because it was more favorable to the farmers.

Rule change

The main argument raised is that under DATCP rules, Wisconsin farmers can grow cannabis that has been tested for up to 0.399% THC because DATCP has been truncated. Under federal rules, Wisconsin peasants could not benefit from their generosity.

One of the reasons DATCP may have changed its position on the validity of the Federal Regulations on hemp is that the USDA applied some changes to the rules in 2021 to give farmers room to move a little more. is. USDA has raised the THC level, which is considered a negligence violation requiring crop eradication, from 0.5% THC to 1% THC, allowing crops to be repaired above statutory standards and below 1%. USDA has also doubled the time farmers are given to test their crops.

The transition to USDA management means the termination of the license fees mandated by DATCP, as USDA does not charge cannabis growers an annual registration fee. However, because DATCP is currently responsible for testing THC crops, migration can also result in much greater delays in performing required tests via USDA. Wisconsin producers have also expressed concern that if controlled by a federal agency rather than state-owned, customer service relationships could be difficult and interfere with Wisconsin’s already weakened hemp industry.

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