A lot has changed since Wisconsin growers and processors of hemp applied for their first permits from the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection under the 2014 Farm Bill. Now, the growing of hemp in our state is managed by the USDA via their local Farm Services Agencies, among many other changes. In this post we discuss the basic steps for applying for a hemp growing permit from the USDA. If you have dreams and aspirations of growing hemp during the 2023 crop year, read on for more information.
- Process for obtaining a permit from the USDA
- Step 1: All “key participants” in the business must complete an FBI Background Check (https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks)
- Step 2: Open an E-Authorization Account (https://www.eauth.usda.gov/eauth/b/usda/home)
- E-Authorization is an identity verification service that will collect personal information about the applicant and confirm their identity (key takeaway – this must be done, so plan accordingly)
- Step 3: Open an account on the HeMP Mgmt. Platform (https://hemp.ams.usda.gov/s/)
- The application and reporting are all done online via the HeMP system. Remember, you must have an E-Authorization account before you can open an account on HeMP.
- Step 4: Complete the Application
- Application is relatively straightforward and less intense than the “Research Plan” that was required under the 2014 Farm Bill, but still be prepared to provide: information about your growing operation and plans for sales of the product.
- Step 5: Define “plots” where your hemp will be grown
- No limit on number of plots
- Must be separated by varietal of hemp grown
- Reporting is done per plot and each plot can only contain one type of hemp.
- Step 6: Report Acreage / Plots / Planting Dates to local FSA
- Interaction with the USDA will be through the online HeMP system and your local Farm Services Agency office. Once your plots are defined, you must submit your acreage, plots, and planting dates to the FSA on an annual basis.
After your application is approved, you will receive a notification from the HeMP system and will submit other mandatory reporting through HeMP and to the local FSA. If you have other questions on the requirements to own and manage a hemp related business in Wisconsin, we’d be happy to help! Thanks for reading.