Farmers can now apply for hemp production licenses through USDA

Producers who want to grow hemp in 2020 but live in a state that does not currently have a program can now apply for federal licenses.

The Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting license applications from producers whose states or tribes do not submit plans for approval.

The agency issued hemp rules in October but delayed acceptance of individual applications until now to allow time for states and tribal governments to submit their plans first.

Federal licenses aren’t available in states that have laws banning commercial growing of hemp, such as Idaho, Mississippi, New Hampshire and South Dakota.

Instead, federal licenses are an option for farmers in states with no plans to regulate hemp themselves. Members of American Indian tribes living in states that ban hemp are also eligible.

Farmers in states or tribes with approved hemp regulations are expected to enroll in those programs.

The USDA will not accept individual license requests from farmers in those states or tribes that already have submitted a state plan or have a draft production plan pending USDA approval.

The USDA accepts license applications year-round. Licenses are good for one calendar year.

License applications can be submitted electronically through the USDA Domestic Hemp Production Program website or sent by mail.

Copies of the license applications can be requested via email at