Nearly 2,100 individuals and businesses have applied to grow or process
industrial hemp in 2019, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection reports, with more applications expected in the next week or so.
“This is a dramatic increase from last year,” said Brian Kuhn, director of the department’s Plant Industry Bureau, which houses the hemp program. “We attribute much of the increase to removal of industrial hemp from the controlled substances act as part of the 2018 farm bill late last year. That removed much of the legal uncertainty that may have held participation back somewhat last year.”
To date, 1,405 have applied to grow industrial hemp this year. Of those, 1,244 would be first-time growers. Processor applications are at 692, with 636 first-time applicants. That compares with 247 grower licenses and 100 processors licenses issued for 2018. Most growers today are growing either for CBD oil or grain.