In 2018, the federal government passed the new Farm Bill, which featured something called the Hemp Farming Act. This act allows farmers in some states with the required licenses to cultivate hemp for commercial purposes. It also removes industrial hemp with THC content below 0.3% from the government’s list of controlled substances.
The Farm Bill does not, however, immediately allow farmers in each state to grow and cultivate hemp as they please. Hemp is still a regulated crop. In fact, each state that wishes to allow hemp cultivation must put together a regulatory framework that is submitted for approval to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). If a plan has received approval, growers in that state can apply for licenses and, if approved, start growing hemp.
In Wisconsin, hemp cultivation is overseen by the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP). The program is up and running, and allows prospective growers to apply each year for the coming season. There is a fee for the application process and the license, much the same as in other states. The fees for hemp applications in Wisconsin are as follows:
- 0-30 acres: $150
- 31-199 acres: $5 per acre
- 200+ acres: $1000
- Annual Renewal: $350
Interestingly, Wisconsin does not appear to run random testing for THC content in cultivated plants. Instead, every hemp plot is sampled and tested before harvesting. Farmers must notify the DATCP 30 days before they intend to harvest, and pay a $250 sampling fee for each growing location. This is perhaps one of the strictest ways we have seen to uphold regulations on THC limits. We actually think it’s great for consumer protection.
In other states, CBD products sold in stores have come under fire for containing levels of THC beyond the 0.3% cutoff. Wisconsin’s way of testing plants works to ensure that this doesn’t happen. Or, that it doesn’t happen as often.
Still, growing hemp in Wisconsin comes with a lot of expense – and some risk. As you can see, the licensing and sampling fees can be quite high, and you can always run the risk of your crop testing above the THC limit. If this is the case, your entire crop may be destroyed immediately.
There are multiple deterrents for hemp growers, but nevertheless, the industry is slowly growing. And while very few of the CBD products for sale in Wisconsin are made from WI-grown hemp, we suspect that will be changing in the near future. For now, if you’re keen on getting your hands on the finest USA-made products, the award-winning Pure Kana collection is still your best option.