Before this year, most states allow hemp cultivation, while the current environment tolerates many states to adopt cultivation laws to help farmers capitalize on the CBD boom. From New Hampshire to Hawaii, Georgia to Wyoming, state legislatures are angling to allow their farmers to profit from hemp as soon as possible. Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana, the nation’s top hemp cultivator by acreage, signed three bills into law, exempting hemp-processing equipment from property taxes, removing background-check requirements for hemp growers and creating a new “Montana-grown hemp” certification. Iowa, one of the few states without an existing hemp program, has sent a bill to the governor to allow for-profit hemp cultivation on up 40 acres per farmer by 2020. The governor in Georgia – another hemp holdout – is expected to sign a bill allowing unlimited for-profit hemp cultivation. New Hampshire is looking at enabling for-profit hemp cultivation for the first time, with CBD production included. Hawaii’s lawmakers have approved a bill to expand hemp production beyond university pilot projects. Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law a bill to allow hemp cultivation for flower and cannabinoid products, not just fiber and seed. Wyoming has approved unlimited hemp cultivation and has already made plans to submit its regulations to the USDA. Agriculture officials in Florida are preparing for 2019 planting if Gov. Ron DeSantis signs a bill to allow it. Currently, hemp production in Florida is limited to university research. Most notably, California started issuing hemp cultivation licenses after years of delays.
The federal government remains on the fence like a overripe watermelon ready to fall off and explode into confusing pieces. Until the feds get into the act with a definitive operating milieu that allows participants to earn a sustainable, long term profit with CBD, the elusive game of not knowing has more risk than worth the effort. Case in point is the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which has repeatedly said that federal rules won’t be in place until the 2020 growing season – but even where states plan to wait for national guidance, hemp legislation is moving ahead.
Confusing, very confusing, especially when you put hard cash on the line to commence the growth season.