Pennsylvania Ag Authorities Start Receiving 2020 Hemp Permit Applications

During the 2020 planting season, Pennsylvania will be growing hemp for the fourth year in a row. The hemp program in the state was launched in 2017, whereby 14 research licenses were issued,  and 36 acres of hemp were cultivated under the authority of Pennsylvania’s Industrial Hemp Research Act. The state has now started receiving applications for this year’s planting season.

According to a press release, the limitations placed on the number of hemp permits and the amount of acreage per license was removed in 2019. The Department consequently issued 324 licenses for cultivating hemp, and the owners of the permits planted more than 4,000 acres of the crop.

Growers interested in growing or processing hemp within the state are supposed to fill the seven-page 2020 Hemp Permit Application available at the department’s website and submit it before the deadline, which is April 1.

According to a press release, Pennsylvania is leading the U.S. in the number of farms selling hemp directly to the consumer, the National Ag Statistics Service determined, and in response, PA Farm Markets released several maps of markets in Pennsylvania. The maps pinpoint three markets within the state of Pennsylvania, and these include the farmers’ markets, retail farm markets and the public markets.

Farmers’ markets are open-air markets, and they are held once a week. The market hosts multiple farms and food sellers. Retail farm markets are housed in a building or roadside stands that open several times in a week and are owned by a farm. And, public markets comprise of various vendors selling different products and are housed in a large building.

Pennsylvania has a tremendous agricultural heritage and diverse farming activities as it has 685 retail farm markets, 337 farmers markets, and 56 public markets, PA Farm Markets concluded.

If you want to see the maps of the markets, you can go to the PA Farms Website.

The 2020 Hemp Program has the following changes:

  • Hemp processors must apply for a license
  • Every property cultivating or processing hemp would require a permit and a separate application.
  • The cost per license is $150.
  • New property restrictions are as follows:
    1. Outdoor hemp growers must plant and maintain not less than ¼ acre and 300 plants.
    2. Indoor hemp growers must plant and maintain at least 2,000 square feet and 200 plants.
    3. Hemp must not be grown, cultivated, propagated, planted, or processed within 200 feet of any residential structure without written approval from the Department.
    4. Hemp may not be cultivated or processed within 1,000 feet of a school or any public recreational area.
  • Businesses operating on a rented property must submit to the Department a copy of an executed lease, signed by the property owner as well as the permit holder.
  • Business applicants and primary participants in the business must undergo FBI background checks,
  • The FBI background check must have been done not more than 60 days prior to the date of the application submission.
  • Hemp varieties to be planted this season must be listed on the application.
  • Every field planted must be tested for THC within 15 days of harvest by a certified sampler and paid for by the owner of the farm.
  • Hemp permit information and crop acreage must be reported to USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) by the farm owner.
  • Hemp Permit Applications deadline would be April 1, 2020.

Experts are certain that hemp industry actors like No Borders Inc. (OTC: NBDR) don’t expect any hitch in the smooth running of the 2020 hemp season in Pennsylvania.

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