LDAF now accepting industrial hemp license applications

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved Louisiana's industrial hemp state plan, the first of three states to receive approval under the 2018 Farm Bill, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., announced today.

"With the USDA approving our state industrial hemp plan, the pieces of the regulatory puzzle are falling into place," Strain said. "We are now able to move forward and begin accepting industrial hemp license applications."

Any person growing, handling, transporting or processing industrial hemp or hemp seed is required to possess a current license issued by the LDAF. All applicants are required to submit a completed application, background check and license fees.

The four types of industrial hemp licenses are as follows:

--Grower License - authorizes the licensee to cultivate, handle and transport industrial hemp regardless of the intended use.

--Processor License - authorizes the licensee to handle, process and transport industrial hemp.

--Seed Producer - authorizes the licensee to produce, transport and sell industrial hemp seed.

--Contract Carrier - authorizes the licensee to transport industrial hemp; required when the transporter is not the licensed grower or processor of the plant material.

"Our Industrial Hemp program administrators have worked very hard to ensure the state regulatory framework was in place as soon as feasibly possible," Strain said. "I am pleased that we remain on track to issue licenses for the 2020 planting season."

For more information on the Louisiana Industrial Hemp Program, visit www.ldaf.state.la.us and click on the industrial hemp tab.

Contributed by LDAF