Today, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) announced that it has postponed the transition to the new Wisconsin State Hemp Plan. Instead of implementing the State Hemp Plan, the department will continue to administer the Wisconsin Hemp Pilot Research Program for another year.
On October 1, 2020, Congressional action extended the authority of states to operate hemp pilot research programs until September 30, 2021. Due to this action, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is in the process of extending the current hemp program operated under the authority of the 2014 Farm Bill to September 30, 2021. Under federal rules, the hemp pilot research program was scheduled to end on October 31. The recently signed H.R. 8337, the “Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extension Act”, allows states to extend their hemp pilot research programs until September 30, 2021.
Under state law (Wis. Stat. § 94.55), DATCP must regulate the Wisconsin hemp industry to the extent required under federal law and in a manner that allows the greatest opportunity to “plant, grow, cultivate, harvest, produce, sample, test, process, transport, transfer, take possession of, sell, import, and export hemp in this state to the greatest extent allowed under federal law.” DATCP has determined that the hemp research program currently provides the Wisconsin hemp industry the greatest opportunity at this time and has made the decision to continue implementing the state hemp program under the authority of the 2014 Farm Bill, instead of operating under the authority of 2018 Farm Bill and the federal Interim Final Rule. With support from Wisconsin’s hemp industry, DATCP continues to focus on ways to best serve and support the hemp grower and processor communities.
To ensure program continuity, DATCP must promulgate a new emergency rule in order to extend the current hemp program in Wisconsin. The new emergency rule will convert the current Pilot Program licenses and registrations to licenses and registrations under this continuing Hemp Program. This no-fee conversion will occur automatically without any action necessary by licensees. When available, more information about the emergency rule will be posted at https://hemp.wi.gov.