Jul 12, 2019

Georgia Department of Agriculture Accepting Comments on Proposed Hemp Rules

On July 10, 2019, the Georgia Department of Agriculture issued a Notice of Intent to Consider the Adoption of Hemp Growers and Processor Rules. The proposed rules are being promulgated pursuant to the Georgia Hemp Farming Act (HB 213), which was signed into law by Governor Kemp on May 10, 2019.

The proposed rules outline the application requirements for hemp grower licenses and the duties and restrictions on licensees. They provide that applications will be accepted for the 2019 and 2020 growing seasons immediately upon the USDA’s formal approval of the Georgia Hemp Plan and for ninety (90) calendar days thereafter. For all other growing seasons, hemp grower license applications will be accepted between September 1 and October 31. For the 2019 and 2020 growing seasons, hemp grower licenses will be issued within 120 calendar days of the final day for application submissions, and will expire on December 31. For every future growing season, hemp grower licenses will be issued on January 1 and expire December 31, unless suspended, cancelled or revoked at an earlier date. Renewal licenses will be due on December 1 of each year.

The proposed rules also outline the application requirements for hemp processor permits and the duties and restrictions upon permittees. For the 2019 and 2020 growing seasons, applications for permits will be accepted for the 2019 and 2020 growing seasons immediately upon the USDA’s formal approval of the Georgia Hemp Plan and for ninety (90) calendar days thereafter. For each subsequent growing season, applications will be accepted between August 1 and October 31 of each year. For the 2019 and 2020 growing seasons, hemp processor permits will be issued within 120 calendar days of the final day of application submissions and will expire on December 31. For each subsequent growing season, hemp processor permits will be issued on January 1 of each year. After the first full calendar year of holding a hemp processor permit, a permittee will be entitled to automatic renewal of a permit upon timely submission of a $10,000.00 renewal fee per year, so long as no administrative action has been taken against the permittee and the information provided in the permit application remains unchanged.

Only hemp grower licensees and hemp processor permittees will be authorized to store hemp. A hemp transportation permit, which will only be granted to hemp grower licensees and hemp processor permittees, will be required to transport hemp.

A draft of the proposed rules can be found here. A summary of the rules and instructions for submitting comments can be found here. The Georgia Department of Agriculture will be accepting public comments on the rules until August 12, 2019, and will consider the comments and the rules on August 13.

For questions regarding the submission of comments, or specific application requirements, duties and responsibilities of licensees and/or permittees, contact Steve O’Day or Vickie Rusek.


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