The NH Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food (Department) and UNH Cooperative Extension have been fielding inquiries about growing hemp in the state. On December 20, 2018, the president signed the 2018 Farm Bill, which permanently removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, legalizing hemp and hemp products. But, passing the Farm Bill did not legalize growing hemp nationwide. Instead, it authorized each state to regulate hemp production, if it chooses to do so.
Hemp production is currently illegal in NH, because there is no hemp program in the state. A hemp program would require growers, transporters and processors of industrial hemp to be licensed, and the hemp crops would need to be inspected and tested – which requires staff that are trained to conduct the registration, inspection, sampling, approval, and enforcement activities. Currently, various legislative efforts are studying how and whether to proceed with development of a hemp program. We will keep you up to date as we learn more definitive information, but in the meantime, please keep in mind that hemp production is not currently legal in NH.
As the Department researches the scale of resources needed to regulate hemp in the state of NH, and UNH Extension considers what the educational needs are for hemp producers, it would be helpful for us to know more about how many growers are interested in growing hemp, and what the potential acreage of this crop is likely to be once the crop can be legally grown within the state. If you would like to reach out and let us know that you are interested growing hemp so that we have a sense of the relative importance of this crop in NH, we would appreciate it.
** Update on November 9, 2019 ** A legislative study committee has been formed to study the potential for hemp production in the state, and they have created a very short survey to measure interest in hemp. Filling out this survey is a good way for you to make sure that the NH legislators know whether this is important to you. The survey link is here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YGBBGPF.