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A rainbow appears over the hemp field at Penn State's research farm in Landisville, Pennsylvania.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s 2019 hemp program will accept permit applications through May 1, after which the permitting window will close for this growing season.

“This year presented new opportunities for hemp growers, and we received an overwhelmingly positive response and scores of interested participants,” said Russell Redding, secretary of agriculture. “We look forward to working with these and other new growers as we continue to learn and do new things with this new old crop.”

The acreage cap, previously set at 100 acres, was lifted this year for approved applicants. Also, there was no cap on the number of applications accepted for 2019, and the department has so far issued nearly 200 permits for more than 500 growing locations.

Pennsylvania recently made hemp subject to the Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Committee, created under Act 46 of 2017. With the committee’s approval, hemp was designated a controlled plant, which requires all growers to register and obtain permits through the department. The permit includes all information required by federal law for hemp production and will allow enforcement necessary for any violation of permit conditions.

For more information on Pennsylvania’s commercial hemp program, visit the agriculture department’s website.

Lancaster Farming