“Is growing hemp legal?” This is something that many people ask, but few know the answer.
Over the past several years, hemp has become a popular thing to grow because of its many uses. With hemp, you can make things like paper, CBD flower, and a variety of other products. However, understanding hemp laws is something that most people don’t get around to.
Fortunately, hemp isn’t as regulated as its counterpart, cannabis. Because of this, the process to start legally growing hemp doesn’t require as many steps as cannabis does. We’ll go over everything you need to know about growing hemp so that you can be prepared to start a business.
So is hemp legal to grow? Yes, read on to learn 7 things you need to know about it.
1. You Must Be In a Legal State
When it comes to legally growing hemp, one of the first things you need to do is ensure that you’re in a legal state. Out of all the states in the US, only 46 states allow hemp production. If you aren’t in one of them, you cannot legally produce hemp.
Should you produce hemp in a state where it’s illegal, you could face both fines and jail time. However, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a place to produce it.
2. You Need a License to Grow Hemp
Aside from being in a legal state, it’s only legal to grow hemp if you have the proper license. According to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), you’ll need to get authorized under either a State hemp program, a tribal hemp program, or the USDA hemp program.
The exact program that you must be authorized under will vary depending on your state. Before deciding where you’d like to start producing hemp, look into their laws and regulations so that you can get the proper authorization. If you want to move to another state in the future, you’ll need to get authorized again.
3. Choose a Warm Area
Hemp is a plant that thrives in warm areas, so some of the states that legalize hemp production may not be suitable for growth. If you’d like to grow hemp successfully, you’ll need to go to a warmer state, preferably in the south. This will ensure that you can produce hemp for most of the year.
If you’re in a colder climate, you can create indoor growing environments. While this will require you to buy different equipment, you may also need to get a different license to grow indoors.
4. Purchase Land to Grow Hemp
Aside from getting licensed, the next thing you must do to start legally growing hemp is purchase land. This can be a tricky process for beginners because purchasing land can cost a lot of money. Whenever you do purchase land, you’ll need to get it approved for hemp production.
If you’re trying to purchase land but don’t have the funds, you can opt for something like a business loan. This will give you enough money to pay for licensing, property, and equipment to get your business started.
5. Test for THC Levels Before Distributing
One of the main things that separate hemp from cannabis is its low THC content. If you have a hemp plant that has more than 0.3% THC, it’s considered marijuana. Before distributing hemp, you must test the THC levels to ensure that you’re not producing marijuana, which would be illegal.
You can go about the testing process in various ways, but it’s best to do it immediately before harvesting. When you test the plant, try to harvest it as soon as possible to prevent it from growing any further.
6. Destroy Crops with High THC Levels
After testing your hemp plants, you must destroy all of those that have higher THC levels than what’s allowed. This can be done by shredding the plants until they’re nothing but small pieces. You can then choose to dispose of them as you’d like.
Many farmers use destroyed hemp plants as green manure for their future crops. Doing this would help your future hemp plants have an easier time growing because they’ll receive a plethora of nutrients from the old ones. To do this, you can bury them into the ground where you’ll plant future hemp.
You can also collect hemp biomass from crops that have been harvested. These can then be used to create other hemp-related products or as fertilizer for crops.
7. Sign a Contract with a Buyer
After getting a better understanding of the hemp laws, you’ll need to know how to handle business transactions. Before starting a legal hemp production business, it’s best to sign a contract with a buyer. This will ensure that you have someone to distribute your hemp.
If you don’t sign a contract with a buyer before producing hemp, you may find it difficult to distribute products. This will force you to waste products that otherwise could’ve made you money. You also won’t get the funds to purchase better equipment and more seeds to plant.
Now You’re Ready to Start Legally Growing Hemp
Is it legal to grow hemp? Yes, and now you know everything you need to know about doing so after reading this article. Before you can start legally growing hemp, you’ll need to get licensed and property, but the process won’t take too long. However, it can be an expensive process, so ensure you have the funds to start.
Keep in mind that you can get loans to help fund your hemp business, but it’s best to pay for everything with cash. When you start the business, you shouldn’t have a hard time making money to pay off any debt.
Check out our other articles to learn more about hemp!