Hartford, CT — The Department of Agriculture has recently processed many applications for hemp growing licenses. Industrial hemp growing season is well on its way. The growers will be included in Connecticut’s new pilot study project.
Last week, the DOA accepted 35 hemp licenses, and another 24 are waiting for approval.
Bryan Hurlburt, the DOA Commissioner, stated that around 130 acres were given the go-ahead. The hemp plantations will be located on this land. Additionally, Hurlburt claimed the DEO recognized the fact that many states were moving forward with hemp production. According to him, it is necessary to “expedite” this process in the state.
On May 11, Governor Ned Lamont gave the agency a signed authorization to develop the new pilot project. The project is possible due to the federal Farm Bill of 2014. Additionally, it’s also among Lamont’s first signed bills.
All hemp growers, manufacturers, and processors are required by law to possess licenses from the state. Moreover, there are diverse requirements that they are obligated to fulfill. Some include THC level regulation. The psychoactive constituent creates a state of relaxation and euphoria (a “high”) when delivered through marijuana. In Connecticut, the growers must not exceed a THC level of over 0.003%. And, the 2018 Farm Bill took hemp off the controlled substances list.
Additionally, the DOA claimed that there was one pending license to process hemp. Another one is pending for manufacturing, and seven of them have been approved, according to the Department of Consumer Protection.
The pilot program requires the processors and growers to submit research outlines and plans. However, they will not be requested to do hemp plant research when the Hemp State Plan of Connecticut obtains federal approval. The plan will likely be approved by 2020.
Don Tuller, President of the Connecticut Farm Bureau, released a statement in which he claimed both newcomers and farmers were taking an interest in industrial hemp. The plant has a myriad of uses and applications. According to Tuller, he was contacted by a person who was just starting out in the business as well as a veteran who ran an organic farm. Even though Tuller is an avid farmer, he will not become a hemp producer. Reportedly, he claims that the venture includes many uncertainties.
Actually, Tuller states that the business is akin to the Wild West. He said that since it was a new venture, there were no established and experienced experts that had managed to run a business for a long time. Moreover, the Farm Bureau President claims there could be some risks of pests and climate issues. The costs of approved growing space, equipment, seedlings and seeds could also pose a problem.
The CT Farm Bureau also released some estimates, claiming that profits from hemp could reach $150,000, while on the lower end of the spectrum, the figure could be around $37,500. But those profits are vastly dependant upon the type of seedlings or seeds, as well as the hemp applications.
To conclude, Tuller claimed that he wasn’t sure if profits of over $100,000 were possible due to some of the previously mentioned elements. However, he is highly optimistic about giving farmers the chance to research the plant and try to venture into the hemp industry in the future.