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First Year Of Illinois Industrial Hemp Program A Learning Curve For Growers

Industrial hemp growers are still working through some kinks to comply with state rules and have a successful growing season.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture started issuing licenses under the final hemp rules about six months ago. One of the requirements is that the level of tetrahyrdrocannabinol (THC) in hemp plants be kept below .3 percent.

Ashli Turner owns Little River Farmstead in Hopedale, which produces a line of CBD wellness products. They’re one of more than 40 active growers in Peoria and Tazewell counties.

“All of us growers, our goal is to maintain that THC value. I do see that proving to be difficult for us,” she said. “It’s not unattainable, but I really think that it takes some monitoring and working with the right genetics to maintain that.”

Turner said farmers have little control over THC levels once hemp crops are in the ground. She said certain hemp seed is proving to be more THC potent than expected and soil conditions in the Midwest only amplify that.

Tom Howard, a Peoria attorney who represents about a dozen central Illinois hemp farmers, agreed many are seeing higher THC levels because of the kinds of seeds available on the market when the program launched.

He said some varietals are known to be more stable than others, but many producers gravitated toward experimental crops that offered more CBD oil when harvested. In addition, most of the seed came from Colorado and is designed for much different conditions than land in Illinois.

“The hot crop is particularly risky this year, in that there’s no crop insurance,” Howard said. “They do have protection against the negligent growing of marijuana.”

Howard said most “hot” hemp is only at about 1 or 2 percent THC — far lower than the 20-something percent found in marijuana sold at dispensaries.

But he said that still means the crop has to be reported and destroyed — and state rules are unclear about how.

“There’s never been more marijuana being grown in the state of Illinois than there is right now, considering that a lot of the crop is probably hot. Therefore, it’s magically cannabis or marijuana,” Howard said. “But even with the hemp coming in a little hot, it still wouldn’t get you high.”

On top of non-compliant THC levels, Howard said, hemp growers have been dealing with adverse weather conditions and limited processing capacity — meaning they could end up with more yield than they’re able to use, particularly for CBD oil.

Still, he said, growers are getting through the “wild west” of the first year of the hemp program.

At Little River Farmstead, owner Ashli Turner said their planting schedule got pushed back by major flooding of the Mackinaw River, which left them with 3 to 5 feet of water in their hemp fields.

By the end of June, they were able to get an acre’s worth of hemp plants in the ground by the end of June. They have yet to harvest, but Turner said the yield will eventually be sent to a processor in Kentucky, though they’d like to extract their own CBD oil soon.

“Ultimately, our goal is to take it from seed to product and it never leaves the farm,” she said.

For the next year, Turner said, there’s just going to be a learning curve.

Industrial hemp growers are still working through some kinks to comply with state rules and have a successful growing season.

Illinois Hemp License Application

Looking for an Illinois hemp license application? Start here and find out what it requires and who you can call to help get your Illinois industrial hemp license application to grow hemp.

How to get a hemp growing license in Illinois?

On April 30, 2019 – Illinois released its hemp application form. You can find your Illinois industrial hemp license application in the link below. We are pleased to help you find it faster.

Illinois industrial hemp license application is easy to navigate, but the whole process from application to seed to sale is how we are helping businesses that want to expand their hemp operations into Illinois, feel free to give us a call to discuss your company’s business goals in CBD or industrial hemp.

Illinois Industrial Hemp License is Open for 2019

The Illinois hemp law has not only been passed, but also the regulations have been published, which means that it is the ready for its first growing season.

The public comment period for the new rules on Hemp expired on February 11, 2019, according to the latest edition of the Department of Agriculture’s Common Ground publication. The rules are finalized and Industrial hemp applications for licenses to cultivate or registrations to process the hemp are expected any day now.

Illinois’ Industrial Hemp Act goes into effect for the 2019 crop year. While the early adopters may reap some of the benefits, over the years hemp could become a common sight along corn and soybeans in the farmland of the state.

Hemp is cannabis – CBD Flower looks like THC flower

Definition of Industrial Hemp

Section 5 of the Industrial Hemp Act defines Industrial Hemp as:

“Industrial hemp” means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis that has been cultivated under a license issued under this Act or is otherwise lawfully present in this State, and includes any intermediate or finished product made or derived from industrial hemp.

Let’s unpack what that means.

  1. cannabis sativa is hemp, but also…
  2. that cannabis sativa has no more than 0.3 percent dry weight of THC, and
  3. it has been cultivated under license, or otherwise lawfully present in the state of Illinois, and
  4. any other product made or derived from hemp

Got those four points?

The regulations include the following rules:

  1. No person may grow hemp without a license
  2. No person may handle hemp without a license
  3. All seeds, clones and transplants must be certified under AOSCA.
  4. minimum space of one-quarter acre for outdoor and 500 sq.ft. for indoor growing
  5. A completed Illinois hemp license application must be submitted to the state BEFORE growing

Recently, the state of Illinois also released its application requirements for hemp – they are as follows:

    1. The name and address of the applicant
    2. The type of business or organization, such as corporation, LLC,
      partnership, sole proprietor, etc.;
    3. Business name and address, if different than the ones submitted in
      response to subsection (a)(1);
    4. The legal description of the land area, including Global Positioning
      System coordinates, to be used to cultivate industrial hemp;
    5. A map of the land area on which the applicant plans to grow industrial
      hemp, showing the boundaries and dimensions of the growing area in
      acres or square feet;
    6. Documentation to prove the land area is a farm as defined in Section 1-60
      of the Property Tax Code; and
    7. The applicable fee of $1,100.

How to get a hemp growing license in Illinois?

If your canna-business needs help with their Industrial Hemp License, please call our cannabis lawyers.

Or Complete the chatbot they created on this website. We’ll be in touch!

Looking for an Illinois hemp license application – start here and find out what it requires and who you can call to help get your application to grow hemp.