DATCP takes nearly 2,100 hemp grower applications

Associated Press
FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2017 file photo, a Calloway, Ky., County farmer, harvests hemp at Murray State University's West Farm in Murray, Ky. Kentucky has laid out its oversight plans for hemp's comeback as a legal commodity in a filing submitted to federal agriculture officials. State Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles sent the plan to the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018, the same day President Donald Trump signed the new federal farm bill into law. (Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin agriculture officials say they've seeing a dramatic increase in applications to grow and process hemp.

The state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection announced Monday that 1,405 individuals or businesses have applied to grow hemp in 2019, including 1,244 first-timers. The agency has received 692 processor applications, including 636 first-timers.

The deadline for online and emailed applications was Friday. DATCP is still accepting mail applications if they were postmarked by Friday.

Then-Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill in November 2017 that allowed growing and processing hemp. DATCP issued 247 grower licenses and 100 processor licenses in 2018. The agency says production totals aren't available yet.