On Friday, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Friday announced that it had approved hemp licensing plans for Louisiana, Ohio, and New Jersey. These three states are the first states to obtain USDA approval of growing industrial hemp.
The USDA also indicated that it was reviewing an additional 15 state plans and that another 8 states were drafting plans.
The USDA stated that three Native American tribes, the Flandreau Santee Sioux, the La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians, and the Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Indians have received approval for their hemp plans and that plans for an additional 15 tribes were either being drafted or reviewed.
In 2018 hemp was grown in 21 states. In 2019 hemp was grown in an additional 13 states, bringing the total number of states to 34.
The National Conference of State Legislatures has stated that at least 47 states have passed legislation for hemp cultivation and production.
Commenting on the USDA approval, In a news release, Mike Strain, Louisiana’s Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner stated, “I am pleased that we remain on track to issue licenses for the 2020 planting season.”