WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has given the go ahead to commercially grow and process hemp in the Hoosier state. The Indiana State Hemp Plan will take the Office of the Indiana State Chemist’s pilot hemp program and transition it to a commercial hemp production program.
Hemp growers previously needed a research proposal and to be affiliated with a university researcher to apply for a license, but under the new plan, farmers will no longer need a research partner. Applications will open for the 2021 growing season in November of this year. Applications will be available online using new licensing application software in the OISC.
“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 the 29th state with approved plans to produce hemp, with 12 states currently negotiating with the United States Department of Agriculture on their plans and nine states are continuing with the USDA production rules.
Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler and former Indiana State Chemist Robert Waltz co-signed the plan late last year.
“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.”