MDA Expands Hemp Program to Commercial Growers

Last week, the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced that they have adopted new regulations to expand the State’s hemp program.

Building upon a successful pilot program for industrial hemp growth, MDA has approved regulations that establish the Hemp Farming Program which will allow growers to produce hemp for commercial purposes. The move builds upon the 2018 US Farm Bill establishing industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity.

From the press release:

“Hemp is an emerging agricultural commodity that presents a new opportunity for farmers looking to diversify their operations,” said Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “We have seen significant interest in the first two years of the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program and we are excited to expand the state’s hemp industry with the new Hemp Farming Program.”

In 2014 the federal government began allowing limited growth of industrial hemp. In 2018 the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation creating the State’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Program to advance research around hemp growing in Maryland. The program began accepting application in January of 2020.

Useful Links:

MDA Industrial Hemp Program Page 

MDA Press Release