Massachusetts Joins Growing List of States With USDA Approval for Hemp Production
- Massachusetts has received USDA approval for its hemp production plan.
- Their new plan acknowledges needed changes in order to comply with the interim final rules set by the USDA.
- 17 states and 25 tribes in total have received approval for their hemp production plan.
The state of Massachusetts has received federal approval for its hemp production plan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as the growing season quickly approaches. They join a list of 17 states to have their production plan approved by the USDA.
Massachusetts previously enacted laws governing marijuana and hemp production back in 2017, which allowed for the legal growth of hemp under the 2014 pilot program along with supervision by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources.
In Massachuesetts’ new plan, needed changes were acknowledged that were required in order for the state’s program to comply with the USDA’s interim final rules. Changes that were addressed include:
- DEA disposal methods for plants with high THC levels.
- Enforcement actions.
- Mandatory background checks for growing applicants.
- Reporting to USDA monthly and yearly.
A total of 17 states have received approval from the USDA for their hemp production plan. Two states, West Virginia and Montana have been approved but plan on following the rules set by the 2014 pilot program until it expires on October 31st.
25 American Indian tribes have also received approval from the USDA, with 5 joining the list in the past week. The five most recent tribes include:
- Rosebud Sioux Tribe
- Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes
- Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida
- Pala Band of Mission Indians
- Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska
Five different state plans are still awaiting approval from the USDA as they wait in the review phase. Additionally, four states have yet to submit a production plan to the USDA, with a total of 22 states operating under the 2014 pilot program for the 2020 growing season.