Wisconsin Celebrates Hemp Day
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers proclaimed Oct. 18 as Wisconsin Hemp Day. The proclamation celebrated the state’s history of pioneering research, education, innovation, and industrialization of hemp. The celebration welcomed a “new era of hemp growing, processing, and product development that will once again place Wisconsin as a national leader.”
Wisconsin was one of the nation’s leading producers of hemp in the first half of the 20th century, even producing fiber for the federal government to utilize during the World Wars. The 2014 federal Farm Bill authorized Wisconsin to create an Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program to issue grower and processor licenses, and this program, which was established in 2018, will now transition to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Domestic Hemp Production Program beginning in January 2022.
With the passage of the 2018 federal farm bill and the removal of hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act, the state has seen a monumental shift in the opportunities for growth and production of hemp in Wisconsin over the past few years.
“Interest in growing and processing hemp was tremendous throughout the first four growing seasons in Wisconsin, and as the crop transitions to USDA regulation as a more conventional agricultural commodity, growers and processors alike remain excited about hemp’s potential in agriculture, textiles, recycling and bioplastics, food and beverages, construction and industrial materials, and personal care products, among others,” the proclamation read.