Hemp can be grown in every state. Hemp is grown for fiber, seed, and oil. There are thousands of uses for hemp plants. The fiber is used in fabric, paper, plastic, building materials and countless other industrial uses. The seed is used as a food for people and animals, as well as seed oil. The flower is extracted for the many cannabinoids (CBD, CBG, THC etc) for the therapeutic properties that have been identified and the many yet to be known.
Hemp can be grown outdoors, indoors and in greenhouses. Hemp is a short day plant, meaning it flowers when the hours of light get shorter and it knows the season is ending and it is time to make flowers to attract pollen to make seeds to create the next generation. This influences when we plant, harvest and how we grow. The SHN growers dashboard offers detailed guidance on when to plant. Outdoors we get one crop per year.
Indoors you must provide 12 hours of true darkness to make plants flower. You can get 4 crops per year in a controlled environment. Greenhouses can be blacked out and grown like indoor or with the season and grown like outdoor.
Growing Hemp is regulated by the federal government and most state governments.
Getting started growing hemp begins with a visit to your state department of agriculture website (links below) to read about your laws, rules and licensing requirements.
Every state is different. Yearly fees range from $150 to over $500.
Background checks are required. Drug related felonies within the last ten years can disqualify applicants from obtaining a hemp grow license.
There are state and regional groups of growers and farmers that can provide insight and foster relationships with experienced growers.
The Southern Hemp Network has a growing collection of resources for new and experienced hemp growers. Basic Membership is free. Join Us.
Keep reading for more information
and visit the many links below.
We will over-state growing hemp is farming and farming is work. Anybody can grow 2 plants. Growing 2 acres is work and requires a commitment of time and resources.
Don’t take the statement on the t-shirt, Hempin Ain’t Easy lightly.
It was based on more than one wore-out-ass farmer reflecting on their efforts.
Hemp plants are expensive compared to corn and wheat. When growing for extraction purposes we are growing for high quality flower and each plant is important and valuable.
We propagate plants by germinating seeds or by taking cuttings and creating clones of another plant. Plants are cared for in a controlled environment and then moved to the field or larger pots for indoor grows.
No Boys Allowed, Girls Only Club
We only want Female Plants. No Males, they pollinate the girls and make seed instead of flowers. Clones from female plants are the first choice.
High quality feminized seed, typically 1 male per 2,500 or 4,000 plants, is the seed of choice. Homogenized seeds (50/50 male/female) are cheap to buy, but expensive and impossible to find and remove all the male plants from the field.
We are planting between 1,500 and 2,500 plants per acre, depending on the variety and the farming plan.
Most farmers do not direct sow seeds for plants grown for flower. The labor requirements for planting, tending, weed control, trimming, inspection and harvest are very high and we can’t afford to loose many of our seeds.
Start Small. Learn methods and labor needs on a small grow. If you are an experienced tobacco farmer then you know the labor it takes to grow hemp. The methodology is almost identical to tobacco farming. Labor. Lots of Labor.
Farmers growing for fiber and seed production, farm and direct sow homogenized seeds, just like growing wheat. It is a large scale and mechanized farming effort. Dollar potential per acre is much lower and number of acres usually much higher.
This is large scale Ag and thought of in 100’s and 1000’s of acre grows. The variety of the plants have traits for long tall fiber and limited flower production.
The processing infrastructure for seed and fiber is slowly being built and will provide the opportunity for the fiber aspect of the hemp industry.
The industrial use of hemp will be key to a sustainable world for industry, manufacturing, apparel, construction, and fuel.
The United States Government sets the hemp rules for the country. The USDA makes and enforces the agriculture aspects of growing hemp. The FDA assures products for humans and animals are safe, the claims made by the manufacturer are true and accurate, and the potency of contents the consumer is paying for is correct. The DEA is responsible for assuring the hemp industry is not violating federal drug laws, since hemp and marijuana are the same except for the amount of THC.
Each state department of agriculture sets the rules for the state. States can be more strict than the federal government, but not less. Make sure to read about your states laws and rules.
Links for state and federal agencies that regulate industrial hemp are provided below.
The U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program establishes federal regulatory oversight of the production of hemp in the United States. The program authorizes the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to approve plans submitted by states and Indian tribes for the domestic production of hemp. The rules start here. Broad source of information and resources.
The FDA is committed to protecting the public health and improve the efficiency of regulatory pathways for the lawful marketing of appropriate cannabis and cannabis-derived products.
FDA has a number of resources available that address cannabis and cannabis-derived products, such as CBD.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) enforces the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States in regard to the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States.
The Southern Hemp Network is a great place to start for information on growing hemp and for experienced growers with resources and online tools. Our State of the Industrial Hemp Industry page gives insight in to the world of hemp with our opinion and the opinions of others.