December 04, 2019

Missouri Industrial Hemp Program establishes path forward for 2020 growing season


Today, the Missouri Department of Agriculture announced how producers can apply for a registration to grow industrial hemp in Missouri during the 2020 growing season. Interested producers must complete a written application, create parcel maps and complete a fingerprint criminal history background check within 30 days of submitting their application. Starting Dec. 16, 2019, producers will be able to find the final fillable application and Originating Agency Identification (ORI) number required to complete the background check on the Department’s website. The Department will begin accepting producer registration applications for review on Jan. 2, 2020.

On Oct. 31, 2019, the United States Department of Agriculture published an Interim Final Rule, which established the federal regulatory framework for industrial hemp growth in the United States. The guidance from USDA further provided states the opportunity to operate without an approved state plan for one year as an extension. Missouri will operate under the extension and, as a result, will not submit an official state plan to USDA for the 2020 growing season. Producers interested in commenting on USDA’s Interim Final Rule can do so by visiting USDA’s website.

“Industrial Hemp has been a moving target for many regulatory agencies this year,” said Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn. “After working with producers, closely analyzing the federal requirements passed down by Congress and USDA, and incorporating our own state law, we determined that Missouri should spend the 2020 growing season learning more about what works in our state. We are confident this is the best choice for our producers in Missouri.”

2020 Missouri Industrial Hemp Application Timeline:

  • Dec. 4 – Sample applications, mapping guidance and information posted online.
    • Action items: review sample application guidance and create parcel maps.
  • Dec. 16 – Final fillable applications and ORI number posted online.
    • Action items: begin fillable application and complete a background check for all key participants utilizing the ORI number.
  • Jan. 2 – Missouri begins accepting applications for review.
    • Action items: await final approval before purchasing, receiving, or planting industrial hemp seed or propagules.

Since the federal legalization of industrial hemp growth for research purposes in 2014, interested producers in Missouri have seen multiple changes to state and federal laws and regulations in 2018 and 2019. The Department urges producers to anticipate further changes in laws and regulations over the next several years as USDA, states, tribes and territories work to establish final guidelines for the crop.

The Department will finalize rules for the 2020 growing season guided by the authority granted by Missouri Senate Bill 133 and an extension of the 2014 Farm Bill. Together, these laws legalized regulated production and distribution of industrial hemp, removed hemp acreage limits in Missouri, and created the following framework for the registrations and permits:

  • Producer Registration: Authorizes a person to cultivate industrial hemp in Missouri. These persons are authorized to sell their harvested, nonviable products once they are confirmed to have an acceptable hemp THC level.
  • Agricultural Hemp Propagule and Seed Permit: Authorizes a person to sell, distribute, or offer for sale any viable industrial hemp in Missouri, including propagules (transplants, cuttings, clones, seedlings, etc.) or seed.

To view a sample application, mapping guidance and more producer information related to industrial hemp, please visit Agriculture.Mo.Gov. Producers may also sign up for email updates related to the Missouri Industrial Hemp Program by clicking here.