Mississippi directs hemp growers to apply for USDA program, passing on state program

One of the last hemp holdout states, Mississippi, is directing farmers interested in growing the crop to apply for an individual producer license through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The state passed the Mississippi Hemp Cultivation Act into law late last month, legalizing hemp cultivation and directing the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce to create a state plan. However, lawmakers did not appropriate the necessary funding needed to implement a state hemp cultivation program, leaving USDA oversight the only legal option for producers to grow hemp.

Mississippi farmers must send their USDA hemp production applications electronically to farmbill.hemp@usda.gov for expedited processing due to the agency’s current remote working conditions.

New Hampshire was the first state to forego a hemp production program, directing producers to grow under USDA jurisdiction. A spokesman for the agency told Hemp Industry Daily that the USDA has issued five licenses to producers in the state for the 2020 season.

Mississippi was one of three states without a legal hemp program. South Dakota passed legislation for hemp production in March but has not yet received USDA approval for its state plan.

Idaho is now the only state in the U.S. where hemp production remains illegal.