Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Chapter 274 - Rules for Growing Hemp

Division / Program: Animal and Plant Health
Date: November 28, 2022
Time: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Event Type: Public Meeting/Hearing

The DACF Hemp program is accepting comments on the proposed amendments to Chapter 274 - Rules for Growing Hemp beginning today, Thursday, November 2, 2022 and ending at 5:00 PM on Monday, January 5, 2023. Written comments may be emailed to gary.fish@maine.gov or sent to:

Gary Fish
State Horticulturist
Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
28 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0028

Opportunity to provide public comment is also available at a public hearing to be held 1:00 to 4:00 PM, Monday, November 28, 2022 in room 101 of the Deering Building at 90 Blossom Lane in Augusta, Maine.

These rules establish the requirements for becoming licensed to grow or process hemp including fees, application and licensing processes, procedures for inspecting and monitoring the growth or processing of hemp, and penalties for violation of the rules. The proposal continues the State hemp licensing program for hemp growers and functions in the same way as it always has since 2016.

The proposed amendments will allow Maine hemp growers to be compliant with the federal regulations and provide unfettered access to the national hemp market. The grower licensing system is amended to provide some incentive and fee relief for hemp growers that may be accessing markets beyond the typical cannabinoid flower production market, such as, microgreens, fiber, and grain markets. It also provides fee relief for hemp researchers and hemp breeders.

The statute has allowed the Department to license and regulate hemp processors since 2015 but the Department has not implemented those provisions. This proposed rule incorporates licensing for hemp processors and product producers. Processors will need to comply with THC levels allowed by state and/or federal law and the licensing program will allow the Department to inspect processors and to potentially sample processed hemp concentrate and/or hemp products to assure these processed materials do not violate state or federal THC standards.

Contact Name: Gary Fish
Contact Phone: (207) 287-7545
Contact Email: gary.fish@maine.gov
Website: https://www.maine.gov/dacf/php/hemp/