For the past two years, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has administered an Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program, legitimized by the 2014 Farm Bill and authorized in Pennsylvania statute by the Industrial Hemp Research Act of Jul. 20, 2016, P.L. 822, No. 92. The 2018 Farm Bill removes industrial hemp from regulation under the Controlled Substances Act and provides for commercial production of industrial hemp, creating an exciting opportunity for industrial hemp in Pennsylvania.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is taking advantage of the new opportunities in the Farm Bill Industrial Hemp Production program by submitting a state plan to USDA. That plan certifies our commitment to creating the conditions for Pennsylvanians to grow a profitable, sustainable, and in-demand product. Acreage caps—previously set at 100 acres—have been lifted for 84 already approved applicants (approved under the pre-2018 Farm Bill program) and acreage will no longer be restricted under the new program. Additionally, there will not be a cap on the number of applications accepted for 2019.
Applications (PDF) are now being accepted for the re-opened 2019 growing season, and PDA’s policies and procedures for the commonwealth's Industrial Hemp Program can be found in the updated 2019 Industrial Hemp Program Parameters (PDF).
Permit Period to Close – As of May 1st, no further 2019 permit applications to grow hemp in Pennsylvania will be accepted. Properly completed applications received before May 1st will be processed and those applicants will have until May 21 to sign and return their permits for final execution. For those who have already begun the permitting process, no additional growing locations will be approved after May 1st.