Connecticut Hemp Research Pilot Program

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Connecticut Hemp Conference & Trade Show: Wednesday, February 26, 2020

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Public Act 19-3, An Act Concerning A Pilot Program for Hemp, signed by Governor Lamont, authorizes the Connecticut Department of Agriculture (DoAg) to implement a Hemp research program. The Public Act also authorizes DoAg to submit a state plan to the United States Secretary of Agriculture. Once the State Plan is approved by USDA the research program will expire and DoAg will regulate the commercial production of Hemp as an agricultural commodity in conformance with the 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act and the Connecticut Public Act Concerning A Pilot Program for Hemp.    


Program Components and Requirements

  • Licensing of growers and processors. Applications and the supporting documents must be submitted through the DoAg E-License portal.
  • Criminal history records check for an individual grower applicant, signing authority for a grower business applicant, and any grower on-site manager, at the grower applicant’s expense. Note: For 2019 conditional licenses may be granted, provided the applicant applies for a state and federal criminal history records check.
  • The use of Certified Seed, or clones or propagules obtained from Certified Seed. Certified seed means hemp seed for which a certificate or any other instrument has been issued by an agency authorized under the laws of a state, territory or possession of the United States to officially certify hemp seed and that has standards and procedures approved by the United States Secretary of Agriculture to assure the genetic purity and identity of the hemp seed certified. The department will accept varieties that have been approved by state Departments of Agriculture for use in their Hemp growing programs.
  • Identification of plots and/or buildings by GPS coordinates where Hemp is grown and stored.
  • A system to track Hemp from growing plot to where it is introduced into commerce by use of Plot ID’s and Lot ID’s.
  • Permission granted to the Commissioner, the commissioner’s designated agents (department inspectors), and law enforcement to enter onto the real property, buildings, vehicles etc., for the purpose of inspection, sample collection or when conducting an investigation.
  • Growers will be responsible for completing the mandatory pre-harvest sampling and testing.
  • Notification of anticipated pre-harvest sampling date(s). No more than fifteen days before the intended harvest date sampling and analysis for THC content using a laboratory with ISO 17025 certification, at the licensee’s expense. Note: Frequent testing as the crop matures is recommended to avoid potential over THC limit violations. Be aware that a processor or manufacturer using your Hemp may have testing requirements different than DoAg regulatory minimums.
  • Voluntary or ordered destruction of Hemp that is above 0.3% THC is at the licensee's expense.
  • Requirements for documentation that accompanies Hemp or samples of Hemp in transport.
  • Research and marketing plans.
  • Change requests to a licensee's authorized activity must be approved prior to implementation.
  • Record keeping and reporting requirements, planting reports, THC testing reports, harvest reports, destruction reports etc.
  • DoAg will be conducting random inspections and sampling for THC content.
Application, Compliance, Seed Sourcing, and Licensing Information 

On-Line Grower or Processor Application
Compliance Policy Compliance Policy 5-14-2019
Hemp FAQ Hemp program FAQ 5-14-2019
DoAg Power Point Presentation: Hemp Outreach 6-2-2019
2019 Hemp Production Data

2019 Hemp Report to the General Assembly

Hemp Grower Survey Results


Animal foods (livestock/poultry feed, pet foods, pet treats, specialty pet foods) are regulated by DoAg. Animal food labels must be registered with DoAg and Animal Feed Manufacturing facilities in Connecticut must registered with DoAg. For more information please see our Animal Feed Licensing and Registratioinformation page.


DoAg is not regulating Hemp or Hemp products that make a claim that the product can be used to cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent an animal disease. Such claims classify the product as an animal drug. Animal drugs are regulated by the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine.



Under Public Act 19-3, the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) regulates Hemp and Hemp derived ingredients used in or manufactured into products intended for human ingestion, inhalation, absorption or other internal consumption.


The Federal Farm Bill


The United States 115th Congress made significant changes to U.S. policies regarding industrial Hemp production through the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill).  The 2018 Farm Bill continues the 2014 industrial Hemp research provisions in the interim. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has begun the process to gather information for rulemaking which will include the process to review and approve state departments of agriculture plans to regulate the growing and harvesting of Hemp.


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced they are holding a public hearing to obtain scientific data and information about the safety, manufacturing, product quality, marketing, labeling, and sale of products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds.


USDA Hemp Production

FDA Public Hearing Docket

FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products: Questions and Answers


The 2018 Farm Bill redefines Hemp as a raw agricultural commodity that can be freely marketed, provided the THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) content is not more than 0.3% on a dry matter basis. THC is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants.


Once harvested, the raw agricultural commodity, Hemp, can be transformed into a value-added product. These value-added products are regulated by different state agencies and/or a federal agency depending on their intended use, customer and how they are advertised and marketed.


DoAg will regulate the sale of the unprocessed portion of the Hemp plant by a grower as an agricultural commodity in much the same way it regulates the growing and harvesting of produce under C.G.S. § 22-39g and the FSMA Produce Safety Rule.  This applies only when harvested portion of Hemp plant is not combined with other ingredients, or milled, chopped, extracted or similarly manipulated and intended for human ingestion, inhalation, absorption or other internal consumption.  If altered in these or similar ways for human use, the manufacture of these Hemp products is regulated by DCP under a manufacturer license.


DoAg will regulate Hemp and Hemp derived products intended for animal feed.


DoAg will regulate processors in Connecticut who use Hemp and Hemp derived fiber products which are manufactured for such uses as for paper, cat litter, potting mix, animal bedding, textiles, etc.


DCP will regulate all manufactured Hemp products that are intended for human ingestion, inhalation, absorption or other internal consumption.



Information on Growing and Harvesting Hemp


Below, find links to some academic sites that provide information concerning growing and harvesting of Hemp for grain and fiber purposes:

Promoting Connecticut's Hemp Industry


Organizations involved in the promotion of Hemp include but are not limited to:

Note: This is not an endorsement any of the above listed organizations.


For more information email or call (860) 713-2502.