WASHINGTON AG NETWORK – GLENN VAAGEN – Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, and legislation approved in Olympia, farmers across Washington now have the option of growing hemp. But, before planting a new commodity, the Washington State Department of Agriculture said there are several things the farming community needs to know.
WSDA’s Jessica Allenton said while farmers have seen a host of changes in just a few years, hemp is not the Wild West.
“There’s still a licensing process, there’s still an application that people have fill out and submit to us. And all of that’s available on the website. But I think that’s the biggest thing, that there’s a lot of changes, and we are in transition but there’s still a licensing component to the commodity.”
While the Feds have given American farmers the green light to grow hemp, Allenton said it’s going to a slow process. She noted it’s going to take the WSDA time to get rules established and approved by the USDA, per the 2018 Farm Bill.
“So, until then, we’re just making the necessary changes to allow that flexibility under the pilot program, going through rule making, getting approval from USDA, all before that January 2020 date so we can have a commercial program at that point when the pilot program is repealed.”
Allenton said it’s very exciting to see a new commodity for Washington growers, and the potential is great.
Picture: Washington Ag Network – Unsplash – Esteban-Lopez