New: Key Provisions of the USDA's Final Rule for Hemp Added to Current Hemp Research Program
On May 3, 2021, the new emergency rule for Wis. Admin Code ch. ATCP 22 was published and became effective upon publication. Consistent with the USDA's final rule and as required under state law (Wis. Stat. § 94.55(2)(b)2), the new emergency rule provides a pathway for hemp growers to remediate their hemp lot if an initial regulatory THC test identifies that the lot exceeds the regulatory limit of 0.3% total delta-9 THC.
While the remediation options are limited to certain federally-permitted methods, they do provide an alternative to lot destruction. Remediated lots require post-remediation sampling and testing to confirm the hemp meets the regulatory limit of 0.3% total delta-9 THC. This will help more lots to pass DATCP regulatory testing, and reduce the risk of enforcement action due to elevated delta-9 THC levels as growers continue to learn about hemp and evaluate its different varieties.
The new emergency rule also caps negligent violations at one per year, and raises the level of total delta-9 THC that constitutes a negligent violation.
Learn more about this emergency rule at the hemp program changes page.
Historical: Transition to New Hemp State Plan Postponed – Current Research Program Extended
On December 21, 2020, U.S. Congressional action consisting of Section 782 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 extended the authority of states to operate a hemp research program until Jan 1, 2022. As a result, DATCP has extended the current Hemp Program under the authority of the 2014 Farm Bill to December 31, 2021.
On October 1, 2020, previous U.S. Congressional action, named H.R. 8337 or “Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extension Act" had previously extended the authority of states to operate hemp research programs until September 30, 2021. Due to this action, DATCP had previously extended the current Hemp Program operated under the authority of the 2014 Farm Bill to September 30, 2021. This end date is now extended to December 31, 2021.
Under state law (Wis. Stat. § 94.55), DATCP must regulate the Wisconsin hemp industry to the extent required under federal law and in a manner that allows the greatest opportunity to “plant, grow, cultivate, harvest, produce, sample, test, process, transport, transfer, take possession of, sell, import, and export hemp in this state to the greatest extent allowed under federal law." DATCP determined that the hemp research program currently provides the Wisconsin hemp industry the greatest opportunity at this time and has made the decision to continue implementing the state hemp program under the authority of the 2014 Farm Bill, instead of operating under the authority of 2018 Farm Bill and the federal interim final rule. With support from Wisconsin's hemp industry, DATCP continues to focus on ways to best serve and support the hemp grower and processor communities.
To ensure program continuity, DATCP had to promulgate a new emergency rule in order to extend the current hemp program in Wisconsin. The new emergency rule converts the pilot program licenses and registrations to licenses and registrations under the continuing Hemp Program. The no-fee conversion occurred automatically without any action necessary by licensees.