TORRINGTON, Neb. - (KNEP) - Wyoming residents meet at Eastern Wyoming Community College to learn more about the hemp industry.
Even though growing hemp in Wyoming is still illegal, the state’s department of agriculture is working on a revised version to their program. They are hoping to send it out to the USDA by the end of next week for a review. Last April, the state sent over a proposed program after the 2018 Farm Bill deregulated hemp as a scheduled one narcotic. At the end of October, the USDA then sent out their program regulations to which the State of Wyoming had the opportunity to take back their program and look at revisions. They have also been working with the state’s Attorneys Generals Office to get the most clear and transparent program for producers.
Once the state’s department of ag sends their program over, the USDA has a maximum of 60 days to accept or deny it. After that, producers can begin filing for a license.
In the meantime, Wyoming Hemp Association is working to provide as much research and information for producer in hopes of helping them and putting the cowboy state at the forefront of the industry.
Justin Loeffler who is a part of the association and a member of GreenTree Ag LLC believes Wyoming is the ideal climate for growing conditions and sees the short growing season as an advantage to growing the plant.
Within the company is a part of, they headed to a portion of Colorado where they could see similar conditions to Wyoming and planted 11 different varieties on 60 acres of land. This gave them an opportunity to test and learn more about the plant. Through natural occurrences like flooding and unforeseen circumstances such as cross-pollination, they brought back to the state a lot of data to go off of on the product.
Loeffler believes Western Nebraska and Wyoming producers are some of the best growers and are input management monsters. He and the rest of Wyoming Hemp Association want to help mitigate the risk and give producers a platform to learn the most about the crop.
“We have the producers,” says Loeffler. He is calling on the industry to start looking at Wyoming and bring in the manufacturing plants in hopes of helping place Wyoming at the forefront of the industry. Loeffler also believes producers in Wyoming could revolutionize the industry.