The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved the Indiana State Hemp Plan for commercially growing and processing hemp. In Indiana, hemp processing and production are regulated through the Office of the Indiana State Chemist (OISC).
The approved hemp plan takes OISC’s pilot hemp program and transitions it to a commercial hemp production program. Previously, hemp growers needed a research proposal and to be associated with a university researcher to apply for a license. Under this newly approved plan, farmers will not need a research component to be licensed.
For the 2021 growing season, applications will open in November 2020. Applications will be available online utilizing the OISC’s new licensing application software.
“This plan approval is a huge accomplishment for both farmers and our team,” said Don Robison, seed administrator for the Office of the Indiana State Chemist. “We are looking forward to growing this program and offering more efficient licensing for Hoosier farmers and processing companies.”
Indiana is one of 29 states with approved hemp plans, 12 states are currently negotiating with USDA on their plans and nine states are continuing with the USDA hemp production rules.
The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) is responsible for helping promote hemp growers and processors in Indiana and ISDA Director Bruce Kettler co-chairs the Hemp Advisory Committee.
“We are very appreciative of USDA for acting on our request and approving our Indiana State Hemp Plan,” Kettler said. “The approval of the plan will allow the Office of the Indiana State Chemist regulatory authority and clearly define the rules and regulations around hemp production and processing in Indiana.”
Kettler and Robert Waltz, former Indiana state chemist and seed commissioner, were the co-signers of the submitted plan in December 2019.