Nebraska Industrial Hemp Production Legislation

The Nebraska Legislature has wrapped up the latest legislative session and one of the bill’s receiving attention is LB 1001.  LB 1001 permits the production and marketing of industrial hemp.  But before you get too excited and think about converting some fields to the production of industrial hemp, a review of LB 1001 and the 2014 Farm Bill are necessary.

The 2014 Farm Bill carved out an exemption to federal drug laws for industrial hemp: if a state has legislation that permits colleges and universities to grow industrial hemp for research purposes, such a purpose is legal under federal law.

Until recently, Nebraska did not have such a law.  LB 1001, signed by the Governor on April 2, 2014, now permits a Nebraska post-secondary institution (that is, a college or university) or the Nebraska Department of Agriculture to grow or cultivate industrial hemp if it is grown for purposes of research.

Other states, such as Colorado, permit farmers to grow industrial hemp.  The hurdles and logistical complications are many.  And LB 1001 does not permit the scale of cultivation that Colorado does.

Is industrial hemp production in the future for Nebraska’s farmers?  Perhaps but much is unknown at this point.  If interested in the cultivation of industrial hemp, perhaps the best first step is researching and investigating: (1) marketing and development opportunities, and (2) the best practices for growing industrial hemp.  That way, should industrial hemp cultivation and production come to Nebraska, you will be prepared to make a decision on whether to integrate it into your operation.

If you have any questions about the significance of LB 1001, you are welcome to contact us!

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