University of Missouri Extension Offers Free Hemp Workshops

Free industrial hemp workshops will be held at the University of Missouri Extension during the month of December and January. Greg Luce, the Missouri University Extension agronomist, together with Joe Horner, an agricultural economist, will deliver a talk during the workshop on cultivating industrial hemp and how to budget for the crop. The workshop will be held at Marshall and Carrollton.

Representatives from the Department of Agriculture in Missouri will make a presentation giving an overview of hemp regulations. They will also outline the process of applying for hemp cultivation licenses in Missouri.

According to Missouri University Extension field specialist in agronomy, Dhruba Dhakal, changes in federal and state laws regarding the production of hemp have renewed farmers’ interest in growing hemp for fiber, seeds, or CBD oil.  Dhakal also noted that several decades back, hemp was a significant crop in Missouri, but due to competition from other crops and strict marijuana regulations, production of hemp declined. Marijuana was declared illegal under the Federal Controlled Substance Act of 1970, and since hemp is a species of cannabis, it was also prohibited.

Farmers looking to grow hemp in the state must submit a written application. They must also submit land maps to the state’s Department of Agriculture. The application forms will be available on the department website as of December 16.

Dhakal also advised farmers to review the Missouri Department of Agriculture guidelines before creating their parcel maps. The growers must also complete a criminal history fingerprint ID check within 30 days after application. The Department of Agriculture will start accepting applications from Jan. 2 in the coming year.

The workshops schedule is as follows:

On December 13, from 1 pm-4.30 pm, a workshop will be held at the Community Room at the Audrain County Courthouse in New Mexico. If you want to attend, call 573-581-3231 to register.

On December 19, from 2 pm to 5.30 pm, another workshop will be held at the Missouri University Extension Center in Saline County. To register, call 660-886-6908.

On January 29, from 1 pm-4.30 pm, a third workshop will be held at Missouri University Extension Center in Carroll County, Carrollton. To register, call 660-542-1792.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture published an Interim Final Rule on October 31, 2019, establishing a federal regulatory framework for the cultivation of industrial hemp in the country. The rules provided states with an opportunity to work without an approved state plan for a period of one year which will serve as an extension. The state of Missouri will not submit an official state plan since it will be operating under the extension during the 2020 planting season.

The interim federal rules are available on the USDA website and are open for public comments, which close on December 30 this year. Industry watchers believe hemp companies like Canopy Rivers Inc. (TSX: RIV) (OTC: CNPOF) and Dama Financial are pleased when such workshops are organized since they allow farmers to make informed decisions before venturing into growing hemp.

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