Reading, December 7, 2017 The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture recently expanded the industrial hemp program, which allows hemp to be grown for research purposes.
Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks) spearheaded the legislation that legalized the growing of industrial hemp in the Senate and was a tireless advocate for the reestablishment of the industrial hemp industry. Her legislation was unanimously approved by the Senate, while companion legislation – introduced in the House – made its way through the General Assembly and onto the governor’s desk in July of 2016.
For 2018, the commonwealth will permit up to 50 individual growers or institutions of higher education to grow up to 100 acres apiece, according to a press release issued by Gov. Tom Wolf. Institutions of higher education also may partner with individual growers to produce larger quantities of hemp. Last year, the department limited the number of growers to 30, each of whom could grow no more than five acres.
“This is a great day for Pennsylvania,” Schwank said. “Hemp, and products made from it, played a large role in our history, and it has one to play in the future of this Commonwealth. I encourage anyone who is interested in growing hemp to check out the program’s expansion.”
Information about the industrial hemp program can be found at http://www.agriculture.pa.gov/Plants_Land_Water/industrial_hemp/Pages/default.aspx.