Whether you are growing for CBD oil, grain, or fiber, you must plant approved industrial hemp varieties. For grain or fiber, approved varieties are on either the current Health Canada List of Approved Varieties or the current Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development List of Varieties Eligible for Seed Certification. For CBD, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has a list of approved varieties. These lists are also available at right.
If you want to plant other varieties, you can send a request before planting to DATCPIndustrialHemp@Wisconsin.gov, and provide documentation that the variety has tested at 0.3 percent THC or below in another state's pilot program.
Regardless of documentation provided or approval given, all industrial hemp grown in Wisconsin must test test at or below 0.3 percent THC in the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection's laboratory or be destroyed.
For 2019, the C4 variety is prohibited from being grown in Wisconsin, based on 2018 regulatory test results.
Certified Seed Recommendation
While the law does not require that you plant seed that has actually been certified (the above lists include varieties eligible to be certified), we highly recommend that you do so. Certified seed is more likely to produce a crop that meets the THC limit, and many markets demand hemp grown from certified seed. It will also provide legal protection; if you plant certified seed, you will not be prosecuted under Wisconsin law if your crop exceeds the THC limit.
Seed and Transplant Sources
Please carefully research your supplier before buying industrial hemp seed or transplants. Remember that any fields or varieties testing over 0.3 percent THC on the pre-harvest regulatory test must be destroyed. There are many reputable distributors of industrial hemp seeds and clones, and many varieties that produce at or below the 0.3 percent level.
Wisconsin requires anyone selling seed in Wisconsin to be a licensed seed labeler, and anyone selling clones to be a licensed hemp grower. While there is no penalty for buying seed from unlicensed sources, buying from a DATCP-licensed seed source does offer another layer of protection. A list of Wisconsin-licensed seed sources and Wisconsin-licensed hemp growers who have clones for sale that passed DATCP’s pre-harvest regulatory test in 2018 is available at right. If you are a licensed seed-labeler or have clones for sale and would like to be added to the list, please contact the industrial hemp program at DATCPIndustrialHemp@wisconsin.gov.
- Importing seeds from other states: Industrial hemp seed and clones are available for sale from seed suppliers in other states. It is fully legal to move seeds and clones across state lines. You may also find seed sources on other states' industrial hemp websites.
- Importing seeds from other nations: DATCP has registered with U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency as an international seed importer, which was clearly necessary prior to passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. With passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the status of international seed imports is unclear. Industrial hemp with 0.3 percent or lower THC has been removed from the controlled substances list under the bill, but the DEA has not made any statement about how it would now regard imports. Because of the paperwork and staff time involved in using this authority, we encourage you to handle imports on your own rather than working through DATCP if you choose to buy seed internationally.
Growing and Selling Industrial Hemp for Seed
Growers who want to cultivate foundation, registered or certified hemp seed for certified seed production in Wisconsin must:
Seed SavingSelling Seed
Certified seed harvested from a pilot project cannot be sold for propagation, except under the Wisconsin Crop Improvement Association’s seed certification program. Otherwise, the harvested grain can be used only for processing or the grower's own hemp production. Although we don't recommend planting non-certified seed, seed harvested from non-certified varieties may be saved, distributed and sold. Seed labeling and licensing rules apply. (See below)