Contact Stephanie Schuman,
Principal Counsel & Attorney-at-Law

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill)

The 2018 Farm Bill authorized the production of hemp, and removed hemp from the Drug Enforcement Administration's schedule of Controlled Substances. It also directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to implement a program to create a consistent regulatory framework around production of hemp throughout the United States.

U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program

The U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program establishes federal regulatory oversight of the production of hemp in the United States. The program authorizes the USDA to approve plans submitted by states and Indian tribes for the domestic production of hemp and establishes a federal plan for producers in states or territories of Indian tribes that choose not to administer a State or Tribe-specific plan, provided that the state or Tribe does not ban hemp production.

USDA Hemp Production License

NOTE: USDA is currently accepting industrial hemp grower applications from producers in Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Mississippi only.  If you are located in another State, please contact your State Department of Agriculture or Tribal Government for licensing instructions.


To apply for a USDA Hemp Production License, you must:

  1. Complete the application 

  2. Obtain a copy of your FBI criminal history report by following the steps listed here 

  3. Send the (a) completed application and (b) FBI criminal history report to: [email protected]

  4. If approved, you will receive an email message from USDA with your license and further instructions


If you are unable to apply electronically, you may mail the required documents to:

USDA/AMS/Specialty Crops Program
Hemp Branch
470 L'Enfant Plaza, SW,
PO Box 23192
Washington, DC 20026

Due to Covid-19, USDA is experiencing delays in processing paper applications. Electronic submissions are preferred. Any questions about applying for a USDA hemp program license should be directed to [email protected].

  1. Once your application is approved, bring your license certificate with you when you visit your local Farm Service Agency field office to report your hemp crop acreage. More information about crop acreage reporting can be found here 

  2. Each licensed producer under the USDA program must fill out annual production data including acreages planted, harvested and disposed of under their license. The USDA Hemp Plan Producer Annual Report is required to be submitted to USDA on December 15th of each year. 

  3. If a producer has produced cannabis that tested above the acceptable delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) level, the material must be disposed of in accordance with the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regulations. Producers must fill out and submit this form no later than 30 days after the disposal is completed.

Submit reporting forms via email to [email protected].

No matter what aspect of the hemp industry you intend to participate in, the attorneys at Leaf Legal, P.C. are able to help you navigate the in-flux hemp laws. 

The Truth About the Risks

Know for sure whether your business is in compliance with state and local cannabis regulations.