VERMONT AGENCY OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD & MARKETS COMMENTS ON USDA'S INTERIM FINAL RULE GOVERNING HEMP PRODUCTION
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) filed comments on United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Interim Final Rule (IFR) establishing a Domestic Hemp Production Program. VAAFM acknowledged the complexity of developing a national hemp production program, but asked USDA to revise its rule to stay within the federal statutory mandate and avoid creating unnecessary restrictions that significantly increase costs and risks to producers.
2020 Farmshow Hemp Presentation
On Wednesday January 29th at the 2020 Vermont Farmshow, the Agency of Agriculture held a Hemp Program Q&A session to address questions and concerns about the upcoming 2020 growing season. 28 people attended the conversation, with much focus placed on the USDA Interim Final Rule and the rules that will impact the 2020 growing season in Vermont.
2020 CALENDAR YEAR REGISTRATION
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets is not currently accepting Vermont Hemp Program Registrations for calendar year 2020. On December 19, 2019 the Agency issued an extension of 2019 grower and processor registrations through March of 2020. This extension must be attached to your 2019 registration in order to serve as proof of registration with Vermont's Hemp Program.
Vermont will operate under its hemp production pilot program enabled under the 2014 Farm Bill for the 2020 growing season. All growers and processors of hemp in Vermont are required to register with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets to grow or process hemp in 2020. The Agency also continues to develop its Cannabis Quality Control Program governing the certification of laboratories that conduct compliance testing for potency and contaminants.
The Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (AAFM) under 6 V.S.A., chapter 34 must adopt rules establishing how the AAFM will conduct research within its hemp program and the requirements for the registration of hemp growers and processors. These rules will also address standards and expectations for record keeping, reporting, testing, and labeling, and include enforcement provisions as outlined by both state and federal law.
Industrial hemp or hemp is the Cannabis sativa L. plant including all parts of the plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. In Vermont, hemp is considered an “agricultural product” when grown by an individual that is registered with Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (the "Agency") as part of its pilot program. Cannabis sativa L. with a delta- 9 THC concentration greater than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis is not hemp and is not an agricultural product.
The Agency through its Hemp Program, authorized under 6 V.S.A., chapter 34, accepts registrations from interested hemp growers and processors. There are no residency requirements, minimum acreages, or limitations on the numbers of registrants. This is an annual registration; applications received and processed in previous years are not valid beyond the end of that calendar year. Growers and processors must have a valid registration prior to sowing through harvesting, drying and processing.
Questions about the Hemp Program can be directed to Agr.Hemp@vermont.gov or 802-828-1732.
Complaints about hemp cultivation or processing can reported to the Agency using the Environmental Complaint Form.
Registered Processors sourcing from Vermont Hemp Farmers (list)
2020 Industrial Hemp Conference
The University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops & Soils Program and Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets are hosting the 2nd Annual Industrial Hemp Conference February 20, 2020 at the Double Tree by Hilton, 870 Williston Road in South Burlington, VT, 9 am to 5 pm.
The cost is $100 per participant at the venue and $75 to take advantage of the live broadcast. Register here- https://bit.ly/2BR1plT
Updates, such as speakers and topics, on the 2nd Annual Industrial Hemp Conference can be found here, go.uvm.edu/2020hempconference