The 2020 season is the fourth year that hemp will be grown in Pennsylvania. The program started in 2017, with the issuance of 14 hemp research permits issued and 36 acres grown under the authority of Pennsylvania’s Industrial Hemp Research Act.
In 2019, the cap on both number of hemp permits and amount of acreage per permit were removed, and the Department issued 324 growing permits for farms, which planted just over 4,000 acres of hemp, according to a press release.
Since the 2018 Farm Bill allows hemp to be grown commercially and not just for research, Pennsylvania has initiated a general permit requirement.
The seven-page 2020 Hemp Permit Application is available for those interested in growing or processing hemp in Pennsylvania. The deadline to submit applications is April 1.
PA Farm Markets kicks off
The National Ag Statistic Service has determined that Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of farms that sell direct-to-consumer, and in response, PA Farm Markets has released a series of maps of markets in Pennsylvania, according to a press release. The three maps identify farmers markets, retail farm markets and public markets throughout the state.
Farmers markets are usually open-air markets that are held once a week with multiple farm and food vendors. Retail farm markets are markets that are a building or roadside stand that are open multiple days typically owned by a farm and public markets are made up of many types of vendors usually in a building.
According to PA Farm Markets, Pennsylvania has 685 retail farm markets, 337 farmers markets, and 56 public markets reflecting Pennsylvania’s great agricultural heritage and diverse farms.
To see the maps, go to www.pafarm.com. The three maps are in the “resources” link on the home page.
For market operators who would like their market listed, contact PA Farm Markets through their website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other changes to the 2020 Hemp Program include the following:
Processors of hemp must apply for a permit.Every property (growing or processing) will require a permit and a separate application.The cost of a permit is $150.New restrictions for properties include:Outdoor growers must plant and maintain a minimum of 1/4 acre and 300 plants.Indoor growers must plant and maintain a minimum of 2,000 square feet and 200 plants.Hemp may not be grown, cultivated, propagated, planted or processed in or within 200 feet of any structure used for residential purposes, without prior written approval from the Department.Hemp may not be grown, planted, cultivated or propagated within 1,000 feet of a pre-kindergarten through 12th grade school property or a public recreational area.For property not owned by the business or permit holder, a copy of a fully executed lease, signed by the property owner and the permit holder must be provided to the Department.For business applicants, key participants in the business are required to have FBI background checks. Key Participants – persons who have a direct or indirect financial interest in the entity producing or processing hemp, such as an owner or partner in a partnership, or persons at executive levels in a corporate entity (I.e. chief executive officer, chief operating officer and chief financial officer).FBI Background checks must be completed within 60 days of the date of application submission.Hemp varieties to be planted this year must be listed on the application.Every variety field or lot (contiguous planting of one variety) planted must be tested for THC within 15 days of harvest by a certified sampler and paid for by the permittee.Hemp permit information and crop acreage must be reported to USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) by the permittee.Hemp Permit Applications will be accepted through April 1, 202