In 2016, the Maryland General Assembly first passed legislation allowing for the development of an Industrial Hemp Pilot Program in the state. That program was recently updated in 2018 by House Bill (HB) 698 to allow farmers contracting with the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) or Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) in Maryland to grow industrial hemp for research purposes. Production of hemp under the program must further either agricultural or academic research. HB 698 became effective on July 1, 2018, MDA has recently issued final regulations to implement this pilot program effective on January 28, 2019, and can be found here.
across the country are looking to begin producing hemp. The 2014 Farm Bill allowed states to develop
hemp research programs, but the 2018 Farm Bill significantly changes the
classification of hemp and allows states to begin developing regulations for
legal hemp production. The 2018 Farm Bill
removes hemp from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act and allows states and tribal governments
to begin developing hemp production plans.
Hemp produced under these plans will potentially be eligible for federal
crop insurance. Although the 2018 Farm
Bill has made changes to hemp, it is still currently not legal to grow hemp in
Maryland until the state develops and has an approved hemp production plan in
Over a year ago, I launched the Maryland Risk Management Education Podcast. In the podcast, I discuss recent court decisions, developing issues, and interview interesting people. New episodes are released every two weeks. Recently released episodes include:
The passage of the 2014 Farm Bill allows for the cultivating industrial hemp only in states that have developed a pilot program for a college, university, or another state department of agriculture to cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes (§ 5940). Since the 2014 Farm Bill’s passage, many states have jumped on board and begun to develop pilot programs to study industrial hemp production (NCSL, 2016). The country has not had industrial hemp production since the 1950s, and information is needed before changing federal and state laws to allow industrial hemp production. Continue reading →