A Turning Point: Wisconsin Transitions to USDA Hemp Program Under 2018 Farm Bill

It’s finally here everyone. After numerous Emergency Rules and a stepped transition, Wisconsin is ready to jump into the deep end and fully transition to a hemp program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the 2018 Farm Bill. As of the 2022 crop year, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) will no longer have the regulatory authority to oversee hemp growing (and processing) in our State, and responsibility will transfer to the USDA. That being said, DATCP will still play an important role in regulating the labeling and sale of hemp products in various aspects (more information below) in what is likely to be come a symbiotic\partnership relationship with the USDA.

What Happens This Year?

Nothing. If you are a licensed grower \ processor for the 2021 Crop Year, you are still required to abide by all aspects of the program administered by DATCP, including the filing of your final reports by the end-of-year deadline.

What about Processors?

As of right now, processors will not be required to have a license under the USDA program.

Applying for the New Program

DATCP is encouraging currently licensed growers to start the application process for a permit under the new USDA program now. More information about the application and required attachments are at the links below. In particular, the Transition Checklist is very helpful.

Getting More Information

There is a wealth of information to take advantage of whether you’re a currently licensed grower, or if you’re looking to get into it for the first time in crop year 2022.

Don’t delay! If you plan to continue cultivating hemp in Wisconsin in crop year 2022, the time to start getting your materials together for an application under the new USDA program is now!

Photo Credit: Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels.