11/22/18 Update

Happy Thanksgiving!  Hopefully everyone who grew a hemp crop this year is nearing completion of his or her post-harvest activities.  Processing is still in full swing, and we are told that there are already many new applicants for grower and processing licenses for 2019.

Another opportunity to learn more about our new industry and to network with people in the hemp world will be held soon.  A Hemp Workshop will be hosted on December 2nd as part of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting.  More information about this program can be found here.  The WFBF has put together an excellent panel for this event and we anticipate that this will be a great opportunity for attendees.

The biggest news to report today is that DATCP decided to extend the application deadline for new licenses for 2019, to March 1st.  The following is from an email we received from DATCP:

“I wanted to inform you that DATCP has re-evaluated its Hemp License/Registration deadline for the 2019 growing season and has decided to extend the Hemp License/Registration deadline to March 1, 2019. The deadline identified in the emergency rule is set at December 31, but we announced this weekend at the Hemp Expo in Marshfield that we have extended the application period to March 1. We believe this extended timeframe will help us in the licensing process and address some concerns we had received from the hemp industry. Key messages that we could use your help in getting out along with the extended deadline announcement include:

– Your 2018 Final Report is still due to the department on 12/15/18.
– Your registration for 2019 will not be issued if you have unpaid hemp program fees or have not submitted your final report.
– Do not wait to submit your application materials. Waiting until the deadline may impact the timeliness of receiving your 2019 license/registration.
– Few of the hemp license/registration applications we receive are complete. A complete application will be processed much quicker than one that requires us to request additional information to process.

As I mentioned, we announced this at this weekend’s Hemp Expo. We plan to update our website to reflect and highlight this change on Monday.
Let me know if you have questions. Thanks for your assistance in getting these messages out to the Wisconsin Hemp Industry.”

Also, it is important to know that a hemp grower’s license and a hemp processor’s license does not expire.  A licensee is required to “register” annually to conduct hemp-related activities.  This means that even if you are not sure if you want to jump into this industry in 2019, it is a good idea to apply for the relevant type of license that you may want to utilize.  You can always apply for a license amendment later in the year to register for 2019 if you make a final decision to move forward.  There is a small additional cost to this approach, but it does provide some flexibility.

We also recommend that all hemp product retailers apply for a processor’s license.  We expect that subsequent revisions of DATCP rules will provide for a more fitting retailer licensure option (depending on what happens with the federal Farm Bill), but until these changes are made, a retailer puts itself in a better legal position if it avails itself of the licensure option that is currently available.

As we reported in our last email update, the Wisconsin Hemp Alliance website is up and running, and we would be interested to hear your suggestions about what additional information we should post there:  See www.wishemp.org.

The Central Wisconsin Hemp Expo was recently held in Marshfield, WI, and many people we have talked to found a good deal of value in attending this program.  Thank you to Jim Naumann for his efforts to put this program together.

Lastly, for more information about the status of the federal Farm Bill, take a look at this update provided by our friends at the U.S. Hemp Roundtable.

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