Oregon Hemp Crop- 2019 Considerations

It’s time to start start thinking about your 2019 hemp crop.

Growers in Oregon and throughout the country are currently in a mad scramble to harvest, test, dry, package, and sell their industrial hemp crops before winter sets in. Growers also have to negotiate complex contractual terms for the sale of their crops, find testing laboratories and processors with capacity to handle their product, and navigate the still unsteady banking system.

Additionally, most states issue licenses on an annual basis, and farmers who already have an eye toward next season will need to apply to renew their registrations for the 2019 Growing Season. Much like the farmers themselves, State Departments of Agriculture review their pilot programs each year assessing how they can do better, and update their regulations accordingly. Farmers must pay attention to the potential of new reporting requirements and changes to the application process.

Growing hemp in the US will be different next year, whether or not Congress finally gets its act together and passes the 2018 Farm Bill with its new hemp provisions. As an industry, we are all hoping and expecting this to happen, but as has been made clear repeatedly in politics, nothing is guaranteed. Until then, the State Pilot Program structure set into place by the 2014 Farm Act is still the law, and it is vital that farmers review the new regulations and application procedures as soon as possible.

Oregon, for example, has announced that applications for 2019 Industrial Hemp Registrations will be available as early as the end of November. While it doesn’t appear that the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) will limit the number of hemp registrations, it is always a good idea to apply as early as possible, and to ensure that all the information on the application is complete and accurate. Complete and accurate applications typically take four (4) weeks to process.

It is important to recognize that it is not only the 2019 harvest that farmers should be thinking of when they renew their registrations. Remember, that a registration is required in Oregon even to handle industrial hemp. Having worked on a hemp farm myself, I’m well aware that the job of a farmer doesn’t simply end once the crops are harvested and sold. After harvest the cleanup process begins, which can extend well past the holiday season and into the New Year. Even simply sweeping up dried leftover leaf material in a warehouse is considered “handling” and requires a registration. Farmers who do not plan to renew a registration should be aware that all industrial hemp biomass on their farm must be sold, or otherwise disposed of before their registration expires on December 31, 2018.

Farmers in every state are encouraged to check their Department of Agriculture website frequently for new information regarding registrations. Some webpages offer subscriptions to newsletters and notifications, and of course, you’re invited as always to check this page for industry news and updates.

November 4, 2018

This post was written by Kight on Cannabis attorney Kamran Aryah. Kight on Cannabis is a law firm founded by attorney Rod Kight that represents legal cannabis businesses. You can contact us by clicking here.

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