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Hemp farming rules allow for Georgia grow licenses

Various types of hemp are being grown at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences facility in Homestead, on June 13, 2019. MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post by Scott McIntyre
Various types of hemp are being grown at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences facility in Homestead, on June 13, 2019. MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post by Scott McIntyre

To grow hemp in Georgia, farmers will have to pay an annual fee, submit to inspections and keep accurate harvest records.

Those are some of the hemp farming rules under consideration by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, which is accepting public comments on the rules until Aug. 12.

The General Assembly and Gov. Brian Kemp this year made it legal for farmers to grow hemp, which can be used to make CBD oil and rope.

But crops can’t be planted until the state finalizes rules over the hemp program.

Under the rules, an annual hemp grower license would cost $50 per acre, up to a $5,000 maximum. A hemp processor permit would cost $25,000 up front and $10,000 every year after.

Georgians can apply for hemp licenses as soon as the U.S. Department of Agriculture gives its approval.

All licensees would have to undergo inspection and sampling of their hemp crops. If any hemp sample exceeds the 0.3% THC limit, the entire crop will be destroyed.

Unlike marijuana, hemp contains little or no THC, the compound that gives marijuana its high.

Hemp growers also must maintain planting, harvest and production records.

More information about the proposed rules and how to submit written comments can be found on the Georgia Department of Agriculture's website.

Separately, Georgia lawmakers this year also approved medical marijuana sales for registered patients, but the licensing process for that program hasn't started yet.