8/26/18 Update

It has been a busy summer in the emerging hemp industry in Wisconsin. We have received reports from many of you and photos of very tall hemp plants!

Over the next few weeks, we are going to catch you up on what the WHA has been doing the last couple months, and what we are planning for the fall.

One thing to note, a number of growers have had their hemp tested by DATCP and are reporting that 20-30 samples were taken for each field/variety. This is more than many people were expecting, and there were also some complaints regarding other testing protocols. The Farm Bureau has been in discussions with DATCP about testing and has reached out to other states to get a feel for standard practices around the country. It appears that this amount of sampling is fairly well-aligned with testing procedures in other jurisdictions. This may be an issue worth revisiting as we assess the program after we have a year of production under our belt here in Wisconsin.

If you have any concerns about how tests are conducted on your hemp, please let us know; this will help us to get a better picture of the process for our discussions with DATCP.

Also, below is a press release that we did not previously share with you.

Thanks,
Wisconsin Hemp Alliance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WFBF and Wisconsin Hemp Alliance Praise Baldwin and Johnson for Industrial Hemp Stance

MADISON – U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson have signed onto legislation to support removing industrial hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act. This will allow farmers to maximize their ability to grow and process this versatile plant. They join Representatives Glenn Grothman, Ron Kind, Mark Pocan, Gwen Moore and Mike Gallagher in listing industrial hemp as a crop.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) introduced the bipartisan Hemp Farming Act of 2018 on April 12 and announced he will attach the bill’s language to the 2018 Farm Bill.

“Wisconsin has a long history with industrial hemp and it’s heartening to see our congressional delegation publicly support its reintroduction as a crop,” said Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Jim Holte. “With so much interest in Wisconsin’s hemp pilot program, we are poised to once again became a national leader in hemp production once these federal barriers are removed.”

Co-sponsored by 27 Senators, McConnell’s Hemp Farming Act will accomplish four main goals:

• Remove industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act
• Allow states for set up their own system to best regulate hemp
• Allow researchers to apply for USDA grants to study hemp and its applications
• Make industrial hemp eligible for federal crop insurance

“In our nation’s and state’s Capitol, Farm Bureau has been a tremendous leader in pushing for the legalization of industrial hemp,” said Wisconsin Hemp Alliance’s General Counsel Larry Konopacki. “We need McConnell’s bill to remove crippling obstacles hemp growers and processors face in lending, financial transactions, crop insurance coverage and limitless possibilities for research. The WHA will be working very closely with Farm Bureau and our congressional delegation to make sure our members and the state’s farmers can maximize opportunities and profitability in hemp’s existing and emerging markets.”

The Wisconsin Hemp Alliance is a newly-formed state association bringing together growers, processors, retailers and consumers to further engage in the advocacy, education and promotion of hemp and hemp products.

Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general farm organization. Made up of 61 county Farm Bureaus, it represents agriculturists and farms of every size, commodity and management style.

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