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Industrial Hemp

The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (the “Farm Bill”) was signed into law on Dec. 20, 2018. The Farm Bill addresses a number of federal policies and programs that are vitally important to Louisiana’s agricultural industry. Of those policies, Section 12619, removes Industrial Hemp from regulation under the Controlled Substances Act, and Section 10113 provides for the commercial production of industrial hemp.

The passing of the 2018 Farm Bill provides for an exciting alternative commodity for Louisiana’s agriculture industry. By removing industrial hemp from the list of controlled substances, and directing USDA to make hemp growers eligible to participate in federal farm programs as with other agricultural crops, the new Farm Bill has laid the groundwork for full-scale commercialization of this new crop.

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry’s (LDAF) Industrial Hemp Program is the state’s designated regulatory authority for the production, processing and transportation of Industrial Hemp.  The ACT, authorized by LA R.S. 3:1461-1472 was passed by the Louisiana Legislature and was signed by the governor authorizing the LDAF to submit a state industrial hemp plan to USDA and to adopt regulations to administer the industrial hemp program in Louisiana. Industrial hemp has the potential for a significant economic impact for Louisiana’s farmers and small businesses. The regulations are being developed in consideration of other state’s Industrial Hemp Programs, meeting with potential growers in Louisiana and in compliance with state and federal industrial hemp laws.  It is the intent of USDA to have state plans reviewed, and potentially approved within 60 days after federal rules are adopted. It is also the intent of the LDAF to have state regulations effective as quickly as time and resources allow – potentially accommodating the 2020 planting season. The regulations will further define the licensing application requirements to grow, process and transport industrial hemp or hemp seed as well production requirements in Louisiana.

The LDAF Industrial Hemp Program will begin accepting license applications once Louisiana’s state plan is approved by USDA and state rules have been adopted. Please continue to monitor this website for updated information on the status of the program and additional information on how to become a licensed grower, transporter or processor of industrial hemp.

NOTICE: If you are on our industrial hemp email list, please check your spam folder regularly. We are aware that some emails are going to the recipient’s spam folder.

USDA Announces Hemp Crop Insurance Available for 2020

WASHINGTON, August 27, 2019 — Certain industrial hemp growers will be able to obtain insurance coverage under the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) program for crop year 2020. USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) today announced coverage for hemp grown for fiber, flower or seeds, which will be available to producers who are in areas covered by USDA-approved hemp plans or who are part of approved state or university research pilot programs. Read the full USDA press release here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is Industrial Hemp?

A. According to state and federal law, “Industrial hemp” includes all plant parts and varieties of the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of the plant cultivated or possessed by an industrial hemp licensee, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.

Q. Is it currently legal to grow Industrial Hemp in Louisiana?

A. No. It is not legal to grow Industrial Hemp in Louisiana at this time.  Upon approval of Louisiana’s state plan by USDA, only LDAF approved licensed growers will be allowed to grow industrial hemp in Louisiana.

Q. When should I be able to grow Industrial Hemp?

A. It is anticipated that Louisiana’s state plan will be approved by USDA and state rules will be in place to accommodate the 2020 planting season. However, this is only anticipation based on current circumstances.  Situations beyond LDAF’s control could develop that may delay the anticipated date.

Q. What is the role of Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) with industrial hemp?

A. The LDAF was granted the authority to regulate the production of industrial hemp in Louisiana through LA R.S. 3:1461-1472 et. seq.

Q. Where can I get a copy of the Industrial Hemp Act?

A. A copy of the Law can be accessed by CLICKING HERE

Q. I am interested in growing industrial hemp.  Do I need a license?

A. Yes, any person growing, handling, transporting or processing industrial hemp or hemp seed is required to possess a current license issued by LDAF’s Industrial Hemp Program. Industrial Hemp (CBD) products fall under the authority of LDH, Alcohol and Tobacco Control.

Q. Who will be approving and issuing the licenses for the program?

A. The LDAF’s Industrial Hemp Program.

Q. Who may obtain a license grow, transport or process industrial hemp?

A. Any person who applies and meets all requirements of Louisiana’s industrial hemp law and regulations.

Q. What is the procedure to apply for a License?

A. All potential applicants will be required to submit a completed application, background check and license fees to LDAF’s Industrial Hemp Program. Interested persons should monitor LDAF’s website for updated information on how to apply for a license.

Q. Will the LDAF conduct Laboratory Testing?

A. Yes, the Department will sample and test, or have tested all industrial hemp to determine THC concentration levels.

Q. What are the requirements to obtain an industrial hemp license?

A. Refer to Section 1465 of the Industrial Hemp Law (CLICK HERE) for information on licensing requirements. The regulations, once developed, will further define licensing requirements.

Q. Who do I contact for more information concerning the industrial hemp program?

A. Interested persons should contact the LDAF’s Industrial Hemp Program staff by phone at 225-925-4733, or by email at industrialhemp@ldaf.la.gov.

Q. Is there a limitation to the number of licenses that will be issued?

A. No, all applicants meeting licensing requirements under Section 1465 and pursuant regulations of the Industrial Hemp Law may obtain an Industrial Hemp license.

Q. Is there a minimum number of production acres required to be a licensed hemp grower?

A. No, the Louisiana Industrial Hemp Act does not require a minimum acreage.

Q. Can I grow industrial hemp plants in my backyard garden?

A. Yes, providing that you are properly licensed; the plant material meets the definition industrial hemp, and the plant material is being produced in compliance with the requirements of the Industrial Hemp Law and pursuant regulations.

Q. What type of Industrial Hemp License do I need?

A. The Act requires four separate industrial hemp licenses. 1) Grower License – authorizes the licensee to cultivate, handle and transport industrial hemp regardless of the intended use; 2) Processor License – authorizes the licensee to handle, process and transport industrial hemp; 3) Seed Producer – authorizes the licensee to produce, transport and sell industrial hemp seed, and 4) Contract Carrier – authorizes the licensee to transport industrial hemp; required when the transporter is not the licensed grower or processor of the plant material.

Q. I want to market a CBD product. What are the requirements?

A. All CBD products must be registered through LDH. They can be reached at (225) 925-4041.

Interested in obtaining an Industrial Hemp License?
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