Central Texas farmer first to receive license to grow hemp

Published: Apr. 9, 2020 at 12:57 PM CDT
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A farmer in Killeen is the first in the state to be issued a license to grow hemp following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to establish a regulatory framework for hemp production in the U.S., Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced in a press release Thursday.

The name of the farmer and the site where the hemp will be grown weren’t released Thursday.

“Let’s face it, Texas farmers and ranchers needed some good news,” Miller said.

I am happy that I can be the one to deliver it. I know Texas farmers have been eagerly waiting for a chance at these hemp licenses and now the wait is over.”

Following passage of the 2018 Farm Bill the Texas Legislature, in 2019, approved legislation establishing rules governing hemp production in the state.

In January 2020 the USDA approved the state’s plan and the application process started on March 16.

The agriculture department has received 454 producer applications, 58 handler applications and 30 handler sampler applications, Miller said.

“License number one is just the beginning for industrial hemp in Texas,” Miller said.

“Hemp offers Texas farmers a great new opportunity, but I want them to understand that with every promise of high profit comes the reality of high risk,” he said.

“My job was to get this program started, it’s now up to farmers and processors to build that Texas ‘hempire,’” he said.