Industrial Hemp Information
Industrial hemp includes varieties of Cannabis sativa that are intended for agricultural and industrial purposes. Industrial hemp is commercially grown in virtually every industrialized country in the world, except the United States. The special varieties are grown for their seed and fiber content, as well as byproducts. Industrial hemp fiber is used for textiles, rope, paper and building products. Hemp seed is used for food, feed and oil. Hemp oil is also the basis for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, inks, lubrication, household detergents, stain removers, varnishes, resins, and paints. Industrial hemp may even prove significant in the biofuel industry.
Industrial Hemp Pilot Program
Federal law, specifically the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), 21 U.S.C. § 801 et seq, continues to prohibit the possession, cultivation, processing, or distribution of industrial hemp except for the limited purpose of agricultural or academic research conducted by a state department of agriculture or by an institution of higher education. 7 U.S.C. § 5940.
To avoid being in violation of Federal criminal law, a North Dakota industrial hemp pilot producer must be licensed in the state of ND and: (1) be part of an agricultural or academic research program conducted by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture or by an institution of higher education; and/or (2) obtain annually a registration issued by the DEA.
The North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) created the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program to research the growth, cultivation, and marketing of industrial hemp in North Dakota. The purpose of the pilot program is to increase the understanding of how industrial hemp fits into the current agricultural landscape, and investigate how it may contribute to the economy of North Dakota.
The NDDA requested industrial hemp research proposals in November and December of 2017. Proposals received on or before December 29, 2017 were reviewed and considered. North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring approved all 57 of the proposals received. Twenty-seven interested producers will be actively participating in the 2018 Industrial Hemp Pilot Research Program. Only processing facilities will be allowed to participate and gain licensure after the December 29, 2017 application deadline.